Open Access Library Journal
Vol.02 No.02(2015), Article ID:68067,9 pages

Factors Influencing Job Satisfaction of Librarians in Federal and State University Libraries in Southern Nigeria

Chinyere N. Ikonne, Uloma D. Onuoha

Department of Information Resources Management, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Nigeria


Copyright © 2015 by authors and OALib.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

Received 25 January 2015; accepted 9 February 2015; published 15 February 2015


This study investigated the job satisfaction factors influencing the job satisfaction of librarians in Federal and State University libraries in Southern Nigeria. Job satisfaction is an important concept that can affect labor market behavior as it has a great influence on job-related behaviors such as productivity, work effort, absenteeism, turnover rates, and employee relations. The study adopted the survey research design. The population was made up of 500 librarians in thirty seven federal and state university libraries in Southern Nigeria. Sampling was enumeration as all members of the population were given the opportunity to participate. A questionnaire was used for data collection and was analyzed using percentages, standard deviation, and mean. Among other factors indentified, it was shown that job security, satisfactory relationship with my supervisor, satisfactory interaction with colleagues and satisfactory interaction with information user/customer/ clients were significant factors that influenced the librarians’ job satisfaction. However, satisfaction with salary and fringe benefits, working condition, and opportunities to conduct research were rated low which signifies that the librarians are not satisfied with these job satisfaction facets. Based on this, recommendations such as library administrators considering improving the salary levels and the fringe benefits of the librarians, improving their working conditions; and granting the librarians opportunities to conduct research were made.


Job Satisfaction, Librarian, library Employee, Federal, State, University Libraries, Southern Nigeria

Subject Areas: Library, Intelligence, Philology

1. Introduction

One of the key elements that have been linked to the success of any organization is the job satisfaction of the employees. Every organization depends on its employees to carry out its functions. For this reason, [1] asserts that the ability of any organization to achieve its goals depends on its capability to attract, retain, and even maintain competent and satisfied staff into its employment. It is in view of this that he concludes that every organization that has goals to achieve should have satisfied and happy staff. [2] have also identified lack of job satisfaction as a predictor of quitting a job while [3] and [4] add that lack of job satisfaction could result in slowing down of work, job success, and job productivity; increase in workforce turnover, occupational accidents and complaints. It is on the basis that employees’ job satisfaction in organizations has been receiving increasing attention.

The library, as have been noted by [5] , is one of the key units of any educational institution and, especially, the University as it caters for the information needs of its users within and outside the University community. Job satisfaction of library workers should be considered crucial as it has to do with the appraisal of one’s job or job experience. Considering the importance of this and for achieving its organizational goals and objectives, the library should ensure that its employees attain adequate job satisfaction.

2. Objective of the Study

The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the underlying factors of job satisfaction of the librarians in the Federal and State University libraries in Southern Nigeria. Specifically, this study wishes to determine those specific job satisfaction facets that influence the job satisfaction among these librarians.

3. Review of Related Literature

3.1. Concept and Definition of Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is a frequently studied subject in work and organizational literature. Researchers across the disciplines have written numerous articles concerning this topic. [6] argues that many authors have borrowed from psychology, business administration, human resources management and other disciplines of organizational science in an attempt to define, measure, and interpret the significance of job satisfaction in their areas of study.

The concept and definition of job satisfaction are intertwined. For [7] , positive attitudes toward one’s job are technically equivalent to job satisfaction. On the other hand, if one has negative attitudes toward one’s job, it is equivalent to job dissatisfaction. He equally contends that job satisfaction, attitudes, and morality at work share the same definition. On the contrary, if workers have bad attitude about work, that shows that they are not satisfied with their work. In the same vein, [8] also argues that job satisfaction is an attitude that comes about as a result of either a positive or negative evaluative judgment one makes regarding one’s job or job situation.

The view point of [9] is that Locke has provided one of the best and popular definitions of job satisfaction. [10] and [11] give a comprehensive definition of job satisfaction as a pleasurable or a positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experience. Similarly, [12] and [13] affirm that job satisfaction is an indication of one’s emotional reactions or state that emerges from one’s cognitive appraisal of job experience to one’s job.

Some other authors have argued in favor of the control of job satisfaction by factors intrinsic and extrinsic to the workers. [14] and [15] posit that these factors are those that surround the job itself and that they have the greatest impact on job satisfaction. Intrinsic factors come in the form of self worth, personal growth and professional development, and a supportive environment in which to work. However, in his later study, [14] argues that the intrinsic rewards may matter significantly less than is sometimes assumed once a greater range of influence is introduced. Therefore, he postulates that one needs to expand the range of causality. On the other hand, extrinsic factors are external job related variables that would include salary, supervision, and working conditions, rewards bestowed upon individual by the organization, supervisors, or even peers.

According to [16] , job satisfaction has been seen to have uni-dimensional as well as multi-dimensional definitions. Spector (cited in [16] ) elaborates on this by saying that the uni-dimensional definition of job satisfaction gives an overall definition of job satisfaction which, in the end, results in global measures. On the other hand, the multi-dimensional definition of job satisfaction gives a more elaborate type of definition. [17] refers to this as a multi-factorial construct definition of job satisfaction and states that this gives a more elaborate type of definition. It is assumed that multi-factorial construct definition of job satisfaction signifies that some satisfaction factors are more important than others.

In his argument concerning the concept and definition of job satisfaction, [18] argues that job satisfaction is anything that is capable of decreasing the tensions of workers. He says that stress comes from the basic human needs and that when these needs are met, tensions become fewer or completely gone and this eventually leads to job satisfaction. Based on this, [19] conclude that lower workplace hassles, higher recognition and reward, higher job control, and higher supervisory support are significantly correlated with higher job satisfaction.

3.2. Determinants of Job Satisfaction

Research studies have expatiated that workers who are satisfied at their workplaces show positive attitudes in their homes and make a psychologically healthy society. In connection with what generally determines job satisfaction, it has been established by [20] that many factors are involved in influencing job satisfaction. As been explained by [21] , increased pay, staffing level, and benefits are among the most important factors related to higher job satisfaction. [10] adds other facets like recognition, working conditions, company and management all contribute to the achievement of higher job satisfaction. For [22] job satisfaction is influenced by the general job attitudes of employees such as attitude toward work group, general working conditions, attitudes toward the organization, monetary benefits and attitude toward supervision. Further, he opines that attitude toward supervisions is intricately connected with the individual’s state of mind about the work itself and life in general.

Job satisfaction could be also affected by the nature of the job, its pervasive social climate, and the extent to which workers’ peculiar needs are met. According to [1] , working conditions that are similar to local and international standard and the extent to which they resemble work conditions of other professions in the locality are also determinant factors. [20] all affirm that job satisfaction can be influenced by factors such as the quality of the academics’ relationships with their supervisors, the quality of the physical environment in which they work, and the degree of fulfillment in their work.

3.3. Determinants of Job Satisfaction of Librarians

According to [23] , different variables predict employees’ job satisfaction for different profession. This is due to the fact that different professions have to deal with different challenges and stressors which impact employees’ job satisfaction. In relation to job satisfaction of librarians, [16] observes that much of the empirical effort that has been carried out among librarians in the developed countries have concentrated mainly on the antecedents of job satisfaction such as the differences in job satisfaction among male and female librarians and among libra- rians of the various units and divisions in the library. Further, that much of the studies have been focused on correlating librarians’ job satisfaction with their age, working experience, salary and promotional opportunities in the library. The author further contends that very little effort has been made to examine the relationship be- tween work and worker related variables such as “affective commitment, continuance commitment, job involve- ment, job autonomy, job feedback, role clarity, role conflict, age, organizational tenure and job tenure with li- brarians’ job satisfaction” ( [16] , p. 70).

Ebru (in [24] ) states that job satisfaction of the librarian has to do with the economical, social, and cultural conditions in that particular country. Low wages and lack of status and social security affect motivation, and therefore, job satisfaction cannot be discussed in the absence of motivation. Studies in relation to job satisfaction and librarianship have also consistently shown that there is a relationship between professional status and job sa- tisfaction. High levels of job satisfaction are observed in those professions that are of good standing in society [24] .

As has been reported by [25] on the study on the job satisfaction of academic librarians in relation to faculty status, it was revealed that librarians with academic rank were more satisfied than non-faculty groups. It was also found in the study that the greatest sources of satisfaction of the librarians were relationship with co-workers, assigned duties, and variety of work. Their sources of dissatisfaction were as a result of the lack of opportunities for promotion, recognitions of accomplishment and salary. [26] investigated the job satisfaction and organiza- tional commitment of academic librarian in Nigerian Universities and discovered that the majority of the aca- demic librarians were satisfied with their jobs because they had attractive salaries and wages. When [27] studied job motivation as a predictor of job satisfaction among professional and non-professional library staff, it was shown that library staff derived most satisfaction from salary/pay, library policies and administration, advancement and personal growth and job security. The study of Badawi (in [28] ) on the level of job satisfaction of female librarians in Nigeria using Herzberg’s Hygiene/Motivator factors of job satisfaction, revealed that female librarians in Nigeria are very satisfied with achievement, interpersonal relationships, recognition, growth/advance- ment, work itself, salary, personal life and job security.

Regarding the influence of job satisfaction on turnover intensions of library personnel in selected Universities in Nigeria, [29] states that there was no significant difference in the turnover intention of library personnel by their place of work (i.e. Federal and State Universities). In studying the management style and job satisfaction of library staff in the University of Niigata, Japan, [30] reports that there is no correlation between job satisfaction level and gender, age, position, education level and work experience. The study of library professionals by [31] revealed that their job satisfaction is not related to their sex, the type of library in which they worked, or their vocational needs, but rather on the characteristics of their job environments.

[32] surveyed the job satisfaction among librarians in Universities in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan and found out that library professionals working in these institutions were slightly satisfied with the nature of their work but were dissatisfied with supervision, benefits, promotion. A study conducted by [33] on job satisfaction among Greek academic librarians, revealed that Greek academic librarians were most satisfied with the job itself, supervision, and working conditions and less satisfied with pay and promotion. When [34] investigated the job satisfaction of Canadian University librarians, they discovered that faculty-academic-status librarians were significantly more satisfied with their involvement in University affairs as well as in the promotion and tenure processes. However, they were not as satisfied with other dimensions of their work, such as workload and salary. Conversely, administrative librarians were significantly more satisfied with most of the major aspects of work being measured, and perceived themselves to be much more involved in library planning and University affairs than did non administrative librarians. [16] study on the correlates and predictors of job satisfaction among Ma- laysian academic librarians showed that affective commitment and organizational tenure had a predictive rela- tionship with job satisfaction.

4. Methodology

The survey research design was used for this study. Study population consisted of 500 librarians in 37 Federal and State University libraries in Southern Nigeria. Sampling was enumerative as all members of the population were used for the study. A questionnaire statements used to measure the influence of job satisfaction were adapted.

4.1. Presentation of Findings

A total of 500 copies of the questionnaire were distributed out of which 359 copies were retrieved and seven of them were found not useful. But when summed together the response rate came to 72% which is considered adequate for a study of this nature.

4.2. Demographic characteristic of Respondents

There were 352 respondents involved in this study, out of which were 189 women (53.7%) while the male respondents were 163 (46.3%). Majority of the respondents (40.3%) were MLS/MLIS (Masters in Library Sci- ence/Masters in Library and Information Science) degree holders while 34.7% were BLS/BLIS (Bachelor in Library Science/Bachelor in Library and Information Science) degree holders. About 3.7% were MSc Inf (Masters of Science in Information) degree holders, 2.3% were PhD holders, while 1.1% and .3% were BIRM (Bachelor in Information Resource Management) and MIRM (Masters in Information Resource Management) degree holders respectively. About eighteen percent (17.6%) indicated their educational qualification as “others”. Pertaining to the years of experience on the job, 41.5% of the respondents have spent between one to five years on their job, while 31% have spent between 6 - 10 years. In addition, 22.7% have spent between 11 - 20 years, while 4.8% have spent between 21 and above years (Table 1).

Research Question: What are the factors that influence job satisfaction among librarian in the Federal and State University libraries in Southern Nigeria? (Table 2)

Indications from Table 2 show the factors that influence job satisfaction among the librarians in the Federal

Table 1. Distribution of questionnaire.

and State University libraries in Southern Nigeria. The number one factor identified by the librarians that made their jobs satisfied is their job security with a mean score of 3.09 (58.5%). This was followed by followed my relationship with my supervisor which got a mean score of 3.05 (62.2%). My interaction with colleagues had a mean score of 2.97 (59.9%) while my interaction with information user/customer/clients came with a mean score of 2.87 (64.5%). Satisfaction with my job duties and job schedules had a mean score of 2.86 (65.3%) while having job challenges received a mean score of 2.82 (59.4%). Satisfaction with task variety got a mean score of 2.76 (60.2%) while work autonomy came with a mean score of 2.72 (56.5%). The communication climate in the workplace received a mean score of 2.68 (54%) while my job status and recognition at work had a

Table 2. Factors that influence job satisfaction of librarians.

mean score of 2.66 (52.8%). Satisfaction with regular promotion received a mean score of 2.55 (52.6%). The study also that revealed that satisfaction with opportunities for professional development attracted a mean score of 2.58 (50.0%).

Regarding satisfaction with my managerial styles in the work place, this received a mean score of 2.64 (46.6%). In terms of my satisfaction with salary, the study also revealed a mean score of 2.50 (40.1%) while satisfaction with my working condition had a mean score of 2.41 (38.9%). The librarians rated satisfaction with opportunities to conduct research with a mean score of 2.37 (37.2%) but with a dissatisfaction percentage rate of 41.5%. My satisfaction with my fringe benefits got a mean score of 2.29 (31.3%) and a dissatisfaction percentage rate of 47.2%.

5. Discussion of Finding

From what has emerged from this study, it could be argued that many job satisfaction facets influenced the job satisfaction of the librarians in the Federal and State University libraries in Southern Nigeria. It is revealed that factors such as job security; satisfactory relationship with my supervisor; satisfactory interaction with colleagues; satisfactory interaction with information user/customer/clients; satisfactory job duties/job schedules; satisfaction with the challenges of the job; task variety and work autonomy; satisfactory communication climate in the workplace; and satisfactory job status/recognition at work are all significant conditions that elicit the achievement of job satisfaction among the librarians in the Federal and State University. Also, the study revealed low satisfaction with factors such as managerial styles in the workplace, salary, working conditions, opportunity to conduct research and fringe benefits.

Evidence from the table, therefore, shows that librarians identified job security as one of the significant factors that influenced their job satisfaction. This finding is in line with the findings of [27] and [28] who found in their various studies that having a secured job is of a great importance to librarians. Satisfactory relationship with my supervisor was another significant factor that influences librarians’ job satisfaction and this finding is being supported by the findings of [20] . Librarians also derived job satisfaction as a result of their interaction with colleagues and this finding is similar to the findings of [25] who found the relationship with co-workers and variety of work (task variety) as important sources of job satisfaction. Further, satisfaction with opportunity for promotion was also one of the factors that influenced the job satisfaction of the librarians in the Federal and State University libraries in Southern Nigeria. This finding is being supported by the findings of [34] and [9] who found in their different studies that opportunity for job promotions is one of the factors that generate job satisfaction for librarians. But [25] and [32] found in their studies that one of the major sources of job dissatisfaction is the lack of opportunities for promotion. Finally, this study revealed low rate of satisfaction in connection with salary and this is line with the findings of [25] and [33] who discovered low satisfaction with pay in their studies. Satisfaction with my fringe benefits was also was rated low as [32] and [33] discovered in their studies that librarians were dissatisfied among other things with their benefits.

6. Conclusion and Recommendations

Based on the findings, it could be generally conclude that the librarians in the Federal and State University libraries in Southern Nigeria have indentified significant factors that influenced their job satisfaction. Therefore, on the basis on these findings, the study concludes that the librarians in the Federal and State University libraries are satisfied with their jobs. However, they are faced with the problems of low salary, poor fringe benefits, poor working condition, as well as lack of adequate opportunities to conduct researches. These could, however, lead to job dissatisfaction of the librarians. Therefore, based on these findings, the study recommends the following:

1) Library administrators should consider improving the salary levels and the fringe benefits of the librarians. It is believed that the more attractive their salary and fringe benefits are, the more satisfied and committed they will be in their services.

2) Library administrators should also improve the working condition of the librarians thereby creating good working environment that will promote good health and positive psychological well-being.

3) The library administrators should also grant the librarians enough opportunities to conduct researches. This could help them in their professional growth.

Cite this paper

Chinyere N. Ikonne,Uloma D. Onuoha, (2015) Factors Influencing Job Satisfaction of Librarians in Federal and State University Libraries in Southern Nigeria. Open Access Library Journal,02,1-9. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1101337


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