The Library as Learning Space and the Paradox of Reading
Eyeh, Abiola Eunice
Regional Centrefor Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS),
Obafemi Awolowo University Campus,
E—mail: biolaeyeh@yahoo. com
The main aim of the establishment of any library is the provision of both conducive learning environment that can facilitate reading coupled with availability of adequate and appropriate textbooks, journals, monographs, encyclopedia, newspapers, magazines, yearbooks, dictionaries, government gazettes, internet facilities among others. All the aforementioned can be further classified into various sections available in any conventional library, for example, circulation, serials, reference, cataloguing. A University Library may embody the diferrent sections because of the multidisciplinary nature ofcourses undertaken by way of its establishment. However, other educational institutions such as research institutes (Agricultural, Mining, Space, and Institute of Oceanography) by their
Acts of establishments are mono disciplinary and may or may not assemble literacy or reading materials other than that of the disciplines for which they have been established. Therefore, this paper examines the alluring nature ofa research institute towards facilitating the use of the library for reading by users. The type ofreading is determined by observation of what the users read and the We of books they borrow. The methodology used for this study includes opening a daily log book for users to indicate their purposes for the use of the library. It was discovered that the only
alluring factors for the use of the library by non students are the daily newspapers. Besides, some come into the library to browse, do their assignments, whilefew borrow books and projects relevant to their assignments or topics of research. Thus. the establishment ofa library in a research institute not-withstanding. the uses sequel to the findings is paradoxical to promoting or facilitating general reading habit. This study recommends that the learning space of the research institute should be expanded to include reference materials like year books, encyclopedias in different fields even if the institute cannot accommodate other disciplines for which it has no afliliation or relevance. General reference reading materials will further attract readers such as staff relations and children for ease of writing and learning.