How Secure are Library Collections? An Evaluation of Polytechnic Libraries in Ghana

Azerikatoa D. Ayoung, Christopher S. Boatbil, Sadat Banbil


Libraries are key ingredients for institutional successes as they enhance the quality of human resources for development. The need for preservation of stock through control measures has become imperative particularly for the third world. Thus, this article explores the existence of library security policies, common breaches and prevention measures in Ghanaian polytechnics. The study employed questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews in 5 polytechnics selected through simple random sampling. Data was analysed using frequency tables and interpretative techniques.  The study revealed a male-dominated library staff mostly aged between 18 and 40 years, majority of whom had first degrees and above. None had any form of written security policies and common breaches included theft, book non-return, mutilation, mis-shelving and impersonation. Periodic searches, not allowing entry with lethal materials as well as inventory and weeding were some of the preventive measures. However, major setbacks to these efforts included lack of electronic surveillance, inadequate management support, staff lackadaisical attitudes and no proper procedures upon lending.

Keywords: Library, Security Policy, Collections, Polytechnics, Ghana

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5758 ISSN (Online)2224-896X

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