Those who have had contact with libraries in foreign universities (as student, researcher or staff), especially in Europe, America, Asia, and even in South Africa, will fully understand the cliché that “the library is the heart of the university.”
University libraries are not mere giant buildings housing volumes of books and where academics study, they serve many other useful purposes which are central to teaching, learning and research in the university system.
Particularly in the present information age, which has seen a phenomenal change in their activities, libraries have increasingly become a more important section of the university, which function as not only the destination of information access for the academic community, but also the center for information literacy, income generation source, and internationalisation for the university.
Studies have confirmed that there is indeed a positive relationship between quality libraries and the productivity and reputation of their universities. According to the UK’s Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), “For an individual university, good quality library resources can help attract and retain academic high flyers and contribute to the prestige of an institution.”