The Library

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The Library

General Information

The University of Ibadan Library is named after Professor Kenneth Dike, the first indigenous Principal and former Vice-Chancellor. It was established out of the desires of the founding fathers and matriarch of the icon of higher education in Nigeria, to cut a niche for research and sound teaching in the University of Ibadan. It was a massive project with great vision of sustained quality services and enduring capacity for expansion. The Library is ranked favourably in the comity of libraries in the Commonwealth.

Through the Mac Arthur Foundation’s funding support (2002-2007), Keneth Dike library received great boosts in all aspects of its functions and services to the immediate community and beyond. At present, the library is sufficiently equipped and has been facilitated to subscribe to many electronic resources with which it is able to compliment its print collections. This has apparently impacted the improved quality of research, teaching and learning of staff and students within the community and outside.

A significant trans-formation occasioned by the intervention of the MacArthur Foundation to the system has since characterized the expanded facilities and services in the library. For example, The library building besides existing facilities, now has an electronic classroom and a computer laboratory with full internet access, multimedia facilities for the promotion of a conducive learning and teaching  environment. This is just one of many areas that expanded ICT is currently being put to good use. To this end, many courses and programmes are being run in these designated e-rooms within the library.

Consequent on the intervention of the Foundation, Kenneth Dike library has successfully embarked on library automation project with the aim of ensuring that the library materials are made visible to the users within and outside the University walls. In addition, the University of Ibadan is currently hosting the automation project involving six university library in Nigeria. Moreover, retrospective conversion of records is ongoing.  Library network expansion is being carried out in phases and this, at the end of the project, will ensure that all staff and users are able to access the resources on the local network and the internet. Besides, the library has increased the number of computers to user ratio since the beginning of the MacArthur grant in 2002.

Of great importance is the rare opportunity available to staff and students since the commencement of the journal donation project funded by Mac Arthur Foundation grant. Similarly, access to current journals has become eased. Attendant benefit of this initiative is the culture of cooperation among University Libraries within and outside the country.

Specific Information

The Kenneth Dike Library contains over 700,000 volumes and seats 1,250 readers.  It is open to all senior staff, and students, and to senior staff of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, as well as Alumni of the University.   Anyone else with serious reasons for using the Library may also be admitted to use it for study and reference purposes only, provided s/he has a letter of introduction from a recognised University official (HOD/Dean, or a designated authority from the visitor’s school or organisation.  In all cases, the claims of scholarship and research are given first consideration.

2.      Hours of Opening

(i)  During Session:

     Monday to Friday   –      8.00 a.m - 10.00 p.m.

     Saturday        –     8.00 a.m -   1.00 p.m.

     Sunday          –     5.00 p.m -   10.00 p.m.


(ii) During Semester Break and Long Vacation:


     Monday to Friday   –      8.00 a.m.  -   6.00 p.m.

     Saturday        –     8.00 a.m.  -   1.00 p.m.


3.      Registration

All readers must be registered before they can make use of the Library.  Registration is valid for the current academic year only and must be renewed thereafter.  Every registered reader is issued with Reader’s Tickets, which s/he is required to bring along whenever s/he comes to use the Library. Readers’ tickets are not transferable and they must be presented, on demand, to any member of the Library staff.

4.   Arrangement of the Library

The Library comprises the Main Building, opened in 1954 and the Research Library which is an extension to the Main Building,  opened in 1968.  The Main Building has a basement, a ground floor and four other floors, occupied as follows:

i. Main Building


          Toilets, Reprographic Offices and Studio

   Ground Floor - East


ii.   General Reading Room

Undergraduate reference collection; current issues of journals on display; latest issues of newspapers; general reading collection; recent accessions; University calendars and prospectuses. The General Reading Room is mainly for consultation of reference work and reading of current work, current journals and newspapers. It seats 68 readers.

iii.   American Studies Collection Room

The former Reserved Book Room, which is entered through the General Reading Room, now houses the American Studies Collection. Kenneth Dike Library is privileged to be selected as one of the sixty Libraries worldwide to receive the American Studies Collection from the United States Government. The collection, which is designed expressly for University Libraries outside of the United States of America, is made up of authoritative reading materials intended to provide foreign students, teachers and scholars the opportunity of increasing their understanding of American life and institutions, past and present.  The collection is a Reference Collection.  Ibadan University is the only recipient of the collection in Nigeria.


Circulation Desk, Catalogue Hall, Exhibition Gallery.


East                          West

L.C. Classmarks A-P Except   Bliss Classmarks A-AJ, AL,

CC, GN and L (Arts, Social    DQ, DR, DT, I, K, L-O (except

Sciences and Law)   LA) (Arts, Social Sciences and


–  It seats 223 readers



East                      West

Bliss Classmarks P-T VV-YH   Bliss Classmarks HJ-HL, J,

(Arts, Social Sciences   Language

and Law)                YI-YY (Education,  

                            and Literature)

                                                                L.C. Classmarks L, Z                                               

(Education and Library Science)

          –   It seats 149 readers.



East                      West

L. C. Classmarks CC, GN,                      University Librarian’s Office

NQ, R, T, U, V (Science,

Technology, Pre-Clinical

Medicine, Nursing and


       –  It seats 136 readers



East                      West

Bliss Classmarks AK, AM-AZ,                 Maps and Prints Manuscripts

B-H, LA, U, V-VUZ (Science,                 Arabic Collection

Technology, Pre-Clinical

Medicine, Nursing and

Pharmacy, Agriculture,

Forestry and Veterinary


L.C. Class marks S

(Agriculture, Veterinary


       -   It seats 75 readers.


iv. Research Library

This is open to Senior Staff, Research and Postgraduate students, and to other readers with special permission.  It has a basement and two other floors occupied as follows:

BASEMENT            –       Bindery



Serials stack, rooms, Microfilm Reading area, General Office.



Reference stacks, Main reading area of Research Library, Control Desk, Reference Librarian’s Desk, Bibliographic Hall, Cataloguing Section, Computer Application Unit, Africana and Publications Ordinance Collections, Carrel rooms, theses and rare works collections, old newspapers, Government documents, Abstracts and Indexes Collection.

5.  The Library Collections

The University Library contains approximately 700,000 volumes of books, and receives over 6,000 separate journals and other serials.  However, current acquisitions have declined significantly due to shortage of funds.  There are two main categories of collections:

The Main Collection

The Special Collection

The Main Collection

The main collection of books and pamphlets is located on open-access to readers in the upper floors of the main building, i.e. the first to fourth floors.  Journals are, however, shelved on the ground floor of the Research Library.

Special Collections

These are mostly research materials shelved in the Research Library and in other parts of the Library:

 i.    Africana Collection

 ii.   Arabic Books and Manuscript Collection

iii.   Government Publications

iv.   Manuscript Collection

v.   Maps and Prints Collection

vi.   Publications Ordinance Collection

vii.  Rare Book Collection

viii. Theses Collection

ix.   Staff Publications.


Materials from the Special Collections can be consulted on application at the Control Desk of the Research Library.

Classification Schemes Used:

Books and Periodicals (with the exception of certain special collections) are arranged by subject according to two classification schemes - The Bliss Bibliographic Classifications Schemes up till December 1974 and The Library of Congress Classification Scheme (since January 1975). The main classes of these schemes are outlined below.  Furthermore, anterior materials 1-9 are prefixed to the class marks of special collections to indicate their locations.  An outline of these numerals is also given below:

Synopsis   Bliss Bibliographic Classification

A             Philosophy, General Science

AM          Mathematics

B             Physics, Engineering

C             Chemistry

D             Astronomy, Geology, Physical Geography

E             Biology, Biochemistry

F             Botany

FW          Agriculture

FY           Forestry

FZ           Animal & Industries

G             Zoology

H             Physical Anthropology, Medical Sciences

I             Psychology

J             Education

K             Social Sciences, Ethnology

KT           Geography (Human, Social and Economic)

L,M,N,O,P History

P             Religion

Q            Applied Social Sciences

R             Political Science

S             Law

TT           Economics

U             Industrial Arts

V             Fine Arts

W,X,Y      Language and Literature


Synopsis   Library of Congress

A             General Works, Polygraphs

B-B          Philosophy, Psychology

BL-BX      Religion

C             Auxiliary Sciences of History

D             History: General and Old World

E-F          History: North and South America

G             Geography, Anthropology,

               Folklore, Manners

               And Customs, Recreation

H             Social Science

J             Political Science

K             Law (Moys)


L             Education

M            Music, Books on Music

N             Fine Arts

P             Philosophy and Literature

Q            Science

R             Medicine

S             Agriculture

T             Technology

U             Military Science

V             Naval Science

Z             Bibliography, Library Science


Anterior Numbers

1.   Reference Collection

2.     Bibliographies

3.     Arabic Collection

4.     Departmental Collections (i.e. pre-1975)

5.     Non-Book Materials

6.     Periodicals

7.     Miscellamen Rare Books, etc.

7H.  Theses

8.    Africana Collection

85.    Governmental Publications

86.    Africana Journals

9.    Antiquated Books


6.   Library Services and Facilities

i.    Loans:

a.  The normal loan period is 14 days.  Teaching and research staff and research students with special reasons for doing so may request longer periods but all books must be returned before the end of the academic year in which they are borrowed. Staff are requested to state clearly the length of loan required if they desire more than the normal fortnight.

b.    Visiting research students, fellows and occasional students who are in the University for less than one academic year are accorded reference privileges only, i.e. borrowing facilities are not extended to them.

c.              A loan may be renewed on application for one further period of a fortnight as long as no one else wants it.  After that, it must be returned.

d.     For undergraduate students, the maximum number of books permitted for a loan period of two weeks is only four.

e.        Only two books may be borrowed by any one reader for the long vacation for which application must be made to the University Librarian.

f.       Only the senior staff is allowed to borrow 2 bound volumes of journals at a time for a maximum period of two weeks.

g.      Failure to return on demand an overdue book or journal will result in suspension of borrowing privileges.

h.       Fines at the rate of fifty kobo per day must be paid for each day a book is overdue.  Books lost or damaged should be reported immediately and paid for at the estimated cost of replacement.  Cases of stealing, mutilation or defacing of materials are regarded as serious offences and the offenders are dealt with very severely. 


The University Librarian reserves the right to suspend or withdraw all Library privileges from persons who contravene these regulations, and to report such cases to the appropriate University authorities for further disciplinary action.

ii.   Reservations:

Books in constant demand by readers, especially heavily used textbooks, are removed from the open shelves and placed in a controlled access collection in the Reservation Book Room on the ground floor of the main building.  Special materials from the Research Library required for undergraduate reading are also kept in the reserve for use under supervision.  Academic staff must send in advance to the Library, copies of all reading lists for students, and particularly titles of works, which are specially recommended for the attention of classes. This enables the Library to obtain those materials, which are not already in stock.  The course and the desired duration of reservation must be indicated, so that reserved books may not be kept indefinitely out of circulation to other Library users.  An indication of the number of students requiring the books helps in determining the number of extra copies to be provided.

Students themselves are welcome to recommend books to be put on reserve.  Finally, it is important that teaching staff confer periodically with the Circulation Librarian about this service.

iii.  Reference Service

Readers are free to consult the Reference Librarian on any problem they may encounter in their use of the reference collection in particular and the entire Library collection in general.  Reference enquiries such as how to locate a material, and where to find a piece of information and other research questions are welcome at all times.

Readers wanting to obtain some documents not in the Library should apply to the Reference Librarian.  Requests for material not in the Library should be made in writing on the forms provided at the control desk to the Librarian, in person, so as to make any necessary explanation.  Usually, it is possible for the Library to:

a.   Locate the document in Nigeria and borrow it for the person concerned;

b.  obtain a copy of the original;

c.  obtain a photostat or microfilm copy from a library in another  country.

iv. Undergraduate Reference Collection and Service

Since undergraduate students do not have automatic access to the Research Library where the reference section is located, an attempt has been made to bring together, in one collection, all the materials that are useful for reference purposes.  This collection is located in the General Reading Room on the Ground Floor (East).  Required reference materials that are not available in this room may be obtained from the Research Library, on request.

Problems encountered at the Lending Desk, the Stacks, the Reserved Book Room, or any problem whatsoever regarding the use of the Library may be referred, in the first instance, to the Circulation Librarian.  Professional assistance is always available in problem situations. 

v.   Reprographic Services

The Library is equipped both for the use and the production of microfilms and photocopies.  In the Research Library, there is an air-conditioned room equipped for storing and reading all types of microforms.  Application for use should be made at the Control Desk. Reference materials from other libraries and from overseas, articles from journals, etc. are regularly obtained on request.  Application, with full details on the forms provided should be directed to the Reference Librarian.  The time required to locate and obtain such material from overseas is normally between four and six weeks. Microfilms, and other media. obtained can be read in the room mentioned above.

The reprographic services available in the Library’s studios include: microfilming, enlargement of photographic prints from both colour and black/white negatives of all sizes from 35mm to half plate and, the making of colour and black/white slides.  High-grade copy work for book illustration can also be undertaken.  Electrostatic copying machines are available for making reduced or facsimiles of simple documents such as certificates, diagrams, scientific formulae, and journal articles, cheaply and quickly.

A list of standard charges and order forms can be obtained from the Circulation Desk.  Advice and estimates of costs can be obtained from the Reprographic Technician or Deputy University Librarian.  Consultation is essential before any extensive work of a non-routine nature is put in hand.

vi. Bindery Services

The Library has its own bindery.  It should be noted, however, that owing to pressure of work, jobs from outside the Library are undertaken only in very exceptional cases.

vii. Special Services

The Library has CD-ROM (Compact Disk Read Only Memory) facilities which offer literature searches in agriculture and medical databases at minimal charges.  This service is for lecturers and postgraduate students for their research work.

·     1989, 1990 Yearbooks (Medical Publishers)

·     Agris

·    American Family Physician

·       CAB Abstracts

·       Cancer (A Journal of the American Cancer Society)

·       CIMMYT (Maize Germplasm Bank Inquiry System)

·    Medtwo (Medline)

·       Pediatrics in Review and Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases

·       Popline

·    Renal Tumors of Children

·     The New England Journal of Medicine

·       The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Journal

·     Tropag and Rural

In addition to the above, the Library facilitates access to Eletronic resources which cover most of the academic programmes in the University. The resources are available to students and staff of the University using authenticated connections, and in some cases, user names and passwords. Some of the resources include, JSTOR, EBSCOHOST, NIGeRIAN VIRTUAL LIBRARY, AGORA, HINARI, OARE,HW WILSON WEB, LANTEEAL.

Usually, it is possible for the library to locate the docuant in \nigeria and borrowed it for the person cocerned; or obtain a copy of the original; or obtain a photocopy or microfilm copy from a libraryi another country.

Application for the use of these services should be made to the Reference Librarian.

7.   Regulations

i.  All readers must fill-in registration cards, renewable each session, before making use of the Library.  This is the only formality for members of the University, i.e. senior staff and students and for senior staff of the University College Hospital.

ii.        Persons who wish to make regular use of the Library and who are not eligible under the clause above, must make personal application to the University Librarian for permission.  Demands on Library facilities from within the University make it increasingly necessary to grant this only in exceptional cases.  The claims of scholarship and research will be given first consideration.

iii. Registration is valid for the current academic year only and must be renewed thereafter.

iv. Readers must submit any books or journals they are carrying while leaving the Library for checking at the checkpoints.

v. All correspondence from the Library should be attended to promptly. The Library will accept no responsibility for correspondence sent to old or incorrect addresses.

vi. Sometimes there is power failure in the night; students can come to the Library with battery-operated torches, not candles or any other form of naked light.

vii.      Refreshments or snacks of all kinds are prohibited in the    Library.

viii.  Smoking is prohibited in the Library.


8.  College, Branch and Faculty Libraries

There are other branches of the University Library on and off the campus, and these can be used by all members of the University, subject to the regulations of each Library.  Altogether, there are 30 College/Faculty and Departmental libraries of the University.  Of this number, eight are College/Faculty or Institute Libraries belonging to the College of Medicine, the Faculties of the Social Sciences, Agriculture and Forestry, Education, Law, Technology and Veterinary Medicine; and the Institute of African Studies.  The largest is the Medical Library otherwise known as the E. Latunde Odeku Medical Library, situated on the Univesity College Hospital campus.  Attached to this is a departmental unit located in Igbo-Ora in Oyo State, some eighty kilometers outside Ibadan, for clinical students doing practical community health work in rural areas.  The other libraries are departmental collections of varying size and importance, manned in the majority of cases by non-professional staff.  Some of the largest of these collections belong to the Departments of Chemistry, Zoology, Forestry and Nursing.  Most of them hold multiple copies of basic texts recommended for student reading – laboratory manuals, basic reference materials, essays and dissertations accepted as part-fulfilment of their first degrees, Masters theses from 1984, certificates and diplomas and specially prepared course handouts for students’ reading. Permission to borrow any of the materials housed there depends on the policy of the individual Faculty/Branch libraries.

9.  Union Catalogue

The Library now maintains a Union Catalogue representing the holdings of College/Faculty and Department libraries on the campus.  Each contributing library is assigned a code, which is stamped on the card to indicate the actual location of the material. This would create awareness of what is available in all the libraries on the campus.

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