Emergence of the global knowledge economy put a premium on learning throughout the World. However, indicators from international assessments suggest that most African countries risk being marginalised in the competitive global knowledge economy because their education and training systems are inadequate to equip people with the skills and competencies needed for active participation. While many scholars have identified the indispensible, growing importance of the library for promoting research and education, not many have investigated the roles of library in promoting skills and competencies required for individual economic development and wellbeing. Therefore, this paper which identifies the indicators of the knowledge economy and skills and competencies required for active participation, has examined the roles and challenges of the public libraries in promoting African participation in the inevitable global knowledge economy. The paper concludes that knowledge economy has implications for continuous education, skills acquisition, knowledge creation and utilisation. Therefore, equipping people to face these realities in Africa requires the use of public libraries which can provide tangible commitment to lifelong education and training systems, innovation and acquisition of vital skills and competencies imperative for individual economic prosperity and wellbeing.
Reading Habits of Users as Determinants of the Utilisation of Library Information Resources of Selected Public Libraries in the South West Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria (Published)
This paper examines reading habits of users as determinants of the utilisation of library information resources in two selected public libraries in the South-west geo-political zone of Nigeria. The study adopted a descriptive survey research method and utilized questionnaire to generate data for the study. Out of the three hundred and nineteen (319) copies of questionnaire distributed in the two selected public libraries, two hundred and sixty nine (84.1%) were returned with valid responses. Data were analyzed using the frequency count and percentages as well as mean and standard deviation. Five research questions were presented for the study. Pearson product moment correlation and regression analysis was used to test hypotheses one at 0.01 level of significance. The result shows that there is a significant relationship between reading habits of users and utilisation of information resources of the selected public libraries in South West, Nigeria. The study concluded that many of the users of the libraries under study possess some form of reading habit, even though some actually read to pass examinations but the majority read to upgrade knowledge. The study recommended that the government should make it a priority to fund the public libraries adequately and that public library management should endeavour to invest more human and financial resources to conduct a needs assessment of users to know and understand the needs of the users. Concerted efforts should be made by the public library management to ensure that there is adequate, sufficient and up to date information resources in line with the result of the needs assessment conducted. This could be through well-organized partnership both at local and international levels.
Global economy is witnessing a steep in recession and the effect permeates all sectors of the society. Libraries and particularly public libraries are vulnerable to these changes in world economy because of greater reliance on public funding which makes them easy targets for information resource budget cuts, layoffs, foreclosures and job freezes. An investigation into the position of public libraries in this credit crunch stirs up a pragmatic mix of tension between decrease funding in the face of overall cut in public expenditure and increase demand for library services forcing staff to develop new strategies with very limited resources to respond to the information needs of people during recession and explore means to buffer the financial storm. In Nigeria, public libraries suffer chronic neglect which impairs them to display the librarian’s axiom characterized by decrease funding and increased usage in times of fiscal crisis. This paper recommends a redirection of government policy towards the sustenance of public libraries even during recession and a retooling of library human resources for better value.
Public libraries play fundamental roles in the mental and intellectual development of young adults via the provision of resources and services fitted for their information needs. Unfortunately, this cannot be said of public libraries in Nigeria. The situation is not helped by the paucity of scholarship that particularly examines young adults’ resource/service satisfaction as a separate category of users in the Nigerian public library system. Hence, this paper critically examines the information needs of young adult patrons of public libraries in Nigeria, with the Oyo State Public Library as a case study. Research questions were formulated, with the questionnaire as the data collection instrument. A total of 110 copies of the questionnaire were distributed, out of which 92 (86.3% of the representative population) were retrieved. The study reveals dissatisfaction by young adult patrons with the Library’s services due to its inadequate infrastructure, collections, and trained library staff. Appropriate recommendations were proffered.