In the middle of the African equatorial zone and in Nigeria’s North-East lies the American University of Nigeria. Its transition from print library to digital services and e-learning has been an adventure with great expectations. This journey has been remarkable, rewarding and challenging. This presentation will highlight this accomplishment in terms of milestones and stakeholder involvement. It will look at the challenges and how to overcome them.
This session will describe the road that AUN took to convert its library from a traditional paper-based system to a digital library and e-learning center, with electronic documentation and reference sources. The process started in September 2005 when the first intake of students came to AUN and found a limited number of paper based resources. We began as an automated Library using the Millennium Integrated System software that has some modules to guide our Circulation and acquisition activities. The library team later decided that it needed to complete the available resources in the shortest and more financially sustainable way. This led to the process of identifying electronic resources, which started in August 2006, and by 2011 AUN had a hybrid library where 90% of the resources were electronic, although the user emphasis was on the print resources. The quantum leap started in January 2012, when there was a shift of emphasis from print to electronic. By 2013, 99.9% of the resources were in digital versions, motivating the paradigm shift to the usage of the e-resources. From September 2013 AUN is encouraging the use of mobile devices to access its digital resources and to perform other multiple functions that handheld devices are known for. In her attempt to move “mobile and green”, our desktops and photocopiers were replaced with smart phones.
Attendees at this session will benefit from the following:
- Looking at financial benefits of an e-library
- Examining the transportation and customs advantages of e-books purchase
- Planning the new library building (a print library in-view)
- Completing the library into an e-learning centre and turning books-spaces into classrooms.
- What do we do with the old print-books?
- How to get ebooks from subscribed databases?
- What are the Open-access databases available?
- Identifying the key drivers of the change to online resources, especially top-management support. Top-management buy-in and support isundamental to the success if this paradigm shift is the total and wavering support from the university President.
- The role of the library staff. Skill audit, training and retooling.
- Accreditation of a print library and the Reaccreditation of an e-learning centre.
- Community outreach with information literacy.
- Understanding and handling the challenges of the transition. Learning from the lessons of the “under-used pharmacy”. Making the available digital service known and usable by the faculty and students of AUN
- Champions from outside the library. Amongst the stakeholders of this project, have been some notable champions (the Provost and the Dean of SITC).
- Collaboration of the Instructional Technology Unit (ITU) of the Department of Information Systems (Millennium, Canvas, WebEx, Active presenter, etc.).
- Future prospects of Digital Services “library in a flash”, which will enable schools with limited budgets or connectivity to have access to relevant, free open-access resources for their students and teachers.