Partnership among Librarians: Reflection on Observations, Interviews and Research Reports from Three Universities in Nigeria and Zimbabwe

Rexwhite T. Enakrire, Collence T. Chisita, Tella Adeyinka


Partnership is not a new phenomenon in the university environment. It embraces strategies used by people with common interest to harvest knowledge in terms of sharing or collaboration. However, the case differs with collaborations in Library and Information Science (LIS) research in Africa, especially LIS scholars in African universities in Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Paucity of empirical literature is available on research collaboration among LIS scholars in Nigerian and Zimbabwean universities. The purpose of the study was to examine partnership among librarians, with reflection on observation and interview research reports in three universities in Nigeria and Zimbabwe. The study adopted a qualitative approach using interview to gather data from librarians drawn from three Nigerian and Zimbabwean universities. The qualitative research approach grounded on content analysis of documents/literature, observation and interview method was use for the study. The observation focus on the authors’ exposition in the sampled universities environment, while the interview were key informants from each of the three countries universities sampled. The study consider the collaborative theory through grounded method. The findings of the study revealed lack of trust in the individual or groups collaborator; team members have the feeling that the project they are collaborating on is of little benefit, due to poor relationship. Team members see themselves as contender or challenger; which has affected leadership issue and involvement of long meetings and inability to address the truth. In terms of the influence of collaboration on professional growth of librarians, result demonstrated enhancement of teaching aspect of librarianship, learning and research quality; promote cooperation, coordination, which in turn increased level of intensity, tenacity and interaction among members. Linkage among LIS professional ranges from networking, cooperation, alliances, coordination and partnership, coalition and eventually collaboration. Challenges reported include catastrophic consequent on negative effect of work, culture and stylistic parameters including concept, attitude and professional hindrances. dominance impact of policies and procedures of collaboration, exploitation of the weak members, lack of clarity and rationale behind the collaboration, unwillingness to change by members in collaboration, lack of socialisation, largeness of the group, wrong membership and jettisoning of members ideas which eventually make some members take the decision of quitting the team. The study recommends inter-disciplinary, intra-institutional and inter-institutional collaboration among various stakeholders in LIS education and training.

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International Journal of Higher Education
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