I am investigating approaches to quality management and quality service delivery in academic libraries in Nigeria. The Nigerian universities operate an established system of quality assurance which is mainly applied for the purpose of programme accreditation, under the supervision of the National Universities commission (NUC). The NUC, as an agency of government has an overarching responsibility for ensuring quality assurance in all universities in the country. This it does through periodic constitution of teams or panels comprising academics in relevant disciplines to visit universities and assess available facilities and resources for programmes seeking accreditation.
One of the parameters for assessment during accreditation is the library and this has to do with facilities and information resources for programmes to be accredited. The only element of NUC quality assurance for the library is tied around programme accreditation. That is, the focus is only on information resources for programmes to be accredited.
The specific aspect of this investigation will be to assess quality management approaches in academic libraries in Nigeria. The overall aim of the study is to identify how service quality practices in academic libraries affect institutional outcomes in various institutions. This is with a view to subsequently recommending a quality management model to enhance improvement and sustainability in both managerial and service quality of academic libraries in Nigeria.
The study is intended as a cross-sectional case study that uses of mixed methods techniques to achieve and address the objectives and research questions of the study.
The project is intended to be in two phases:
Phase 1 – Involves a Quantitative online pilot comparative survey of a representative sample of academic libraries in Nigeria. The methodology to be used in Nigeria will first be piloted with a similar population in the United Kingdom.
Phase 2 – Involves a multi-site case study using semi -structured interviews and documentary evidence.
Population of study – This will comprise library directors/ university librarians and managers in six university libraries in Nigeria.
The European Frameworkfor Quality Management (EFQM) Business Excellence Model (BEM) is the model I intend to use. It is a holistic framework that gives an insight into an organisation and is based on nine criteria:
performance, customers, people and society, leadership, policy, strategy, partnerships, resources, and processes.
The BEM, being a self assessment model, has been proved to be relatively fast, easy and inexpensive to conduct. It improves performance, team building, and enhances individual and organisational innovation and learning. It is now the most widely used organisational framework, especially in Europe.