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Saturday, May 20, 2023

Embracing Change: Rethinking Library Rules and Regulations for Enhanced Resource Utilization

 Azeez Adeoye

Library rules and regulations could be one of the impediments to the use of its resources. Students are concerned about the limitations they experience due to stringent library rules and regulations. In the 21st century, libraries have competitors in ICT tools. It's high time library professionals revisited the archaic rules that prevent users from maximizing the potential benefits offered by libraries.

One such rule is the prohibition of eating and drinking in the library.

Reading is a mental exercise that drains and dehydrates library users during the process of studying. Therefore, users need to stay hydrated to sustain concentration while reading. But in a situation where library users travel the extra mile to drink water, this obstructs the flow of information and truncates comprehension.

Though Western libraries provide water dispensers within the library and sometimes coffee corners and microwaves, among other gadgets to ease light consumption, concentration, mental stability, and constant use of library resources. This is the trend in 21st-century library services, and African libraries need to decolonize themselves and embrace change.

By offering more flexibility in our library rules and regulations, such as allowing food and drink within designated areas, offering extended hours, and implementing more relaxed noise policies, we can create a more comfortable and welcoming environment for our patrons. 

This, in turn, will make our library more attractive compared to our competitors, such as ICT tools. We believe that by meeting the changing needs of our users, we can entice and endear them to use our resources, which will help us to maintain our relevance in the 21st century.

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