Development Of Public Library In Nigeria
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The history of libraries began with the first effort to organize collections of documents. Topics of interest include accessibility of the collection, acquisition of materials, management and finding tools, the book trade the influence of the physical properties of the different writing materials, language distribution, role in education, rates of literacy, budgets, staffing, libraries for specially targeted audiences, architectural merit, patterns of usage and the role of libraries in a nations cultural heritage and the role of government, church or private sponsorship. Since the 1960s issues of computerization and digitalization come to the fore. TO PLACE AN ORDER FOR THE COMPLETE PROJECT MATERIAL, pay N3, 000 to: BANK NAME: FIRST BANK ACCOUNT NAME: OKEKE CHARLES OBINNA ACCOUNT NUMBER: 3108050531 After payment, text the name of the project, email address and your
names to 08064502337
TO PLACE AN ORDER FOR THE COMPLETE PROJECT MATERIAL, pay N3, 000 to:
BANK NAME: FIRST BANK
ACCOUNT NAME: OKEKE CHARLES OBINNA
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 3108050531
After payment, text the name of the project, email address and your names to 08064502337
Library history is the academic discipline devoted to the study of the history of libraries; it is a subfield of library science and historiography. The first libraries consisted of archives of the earlier form of writing – the clay tablets in cuneiform script discovered in temple rooms in Sumer, some dating back to 2600 BC. These archives, which mainly consisted of the records of commercial transactions or inventories, mark the end of prehistory and the start of history. Over 30,000 clay tablets form. The library of Ashutbanipal have been discovered at Nineveh, providing modern scholars with an amazing wealth of Mesopotamian literary, religious and administrative work. Among the findings were the Enuma Elish, also known as the Epic of creation, which depicts a traditional Babylonian view of creation, the Epic of Cutgamesh, a large selection of “Omen texts” including Emuma Enu Enlil which contained omens dealing with the moon, its Corona, Spots and eclipses, the weather, namely lightening, thunder and clouds, and the planets and fixed stars, the sun, its corona, sports and eclipses. The weather, namely lightening, thunder and planets and their visibility, appearance and station and astronomic/astrological texts, as well as standard lists used by scribes and scholars such as word lists, bilingual vocabularies, lists of signs and synonyms, and lists of medical diagnoses.
Philosophic Laozi was keeper of books in the Canliest Library in China, which belonged to the imperial Zhou dynasty. Also, evidence of catalogues found in some destroyed a client libraries illustrates the presence of librarians.
Private libraries appeared during the late republic Seneca inveighed against libraries fitted out for show by illiterate owners who scarcely read their titles in the course a lifetime, but displayed the scrolls in bookcases (armaria) of citrus wood inlaid with ivory that can right to the ceiling: “by now, like bathrooms and hot water, a library is got up as standard equipment for a fine house (domus). Libraries were amenities suited to a villa, such as Ciceru’s at Tusculum, Maecenas’s several villas, or Pliny the Younger’s, all described in surviving letters. At the villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, apparently the villa of Ceasiers father-in-law.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
A library is an agency, which engages in the collection. Processing, preservation and dissemination of recorded information in the various formats most convenient to its target users (Olanlokun and Salisu, 1993). It can also be defined as a building established for the purpose of collecting and storing book and related materials for reading and research.
According to Chamber’s Encyclopedia (1977) the word library which is from the Latin word “Liber” signifies a place set aside for reading or reference and by extension, a collection of books. Thus, a library can also be described as a collection of books and other forms of records house, organized and interpretation to meet board and varying needs of the people such as information, knowledge, recreation and esthetic – values. People all over the world have accepted education as an essential. Instrument for human development, and various means (such as schools and seminars) have been put in place to extend the benefits of education to all. Another means that has attracted little or no attention is the public library wall (1991) describes a public library as a key source of information to citizen and to a lesser extent to politicians and businessmen. Library’s Glossary Dictionary (1997) defines a public library as a library established by local, state or central government for the use of the general public.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study aims at evaluating the development of public library in Nigeria and its contribution to national development stages in public libraries in Nigeria.
- To evaluate the various development stages in public libraries in Nigeria.
- To determine the effect of public libraries to national development.
- To evaluate the contribution of the government in the development of public libraries in Nigeria.
- To determine the extent to which public libraries effect students of public tertiary institutions
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is delimited to Federal Polytechnic, Oko library, on the development of public libraries in Nigeria.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following work will be significant to be the following:
- The researcher: This study will constitute one of the requirements for the awards of National Diploma (ND) in Library and Information Science to the researcher.
- To Federal Polytechnic Oko: The research work will go along way in strengthen the level of public library development and adopt the researcher’s recommendation.
- Informal Citizen of Nigeria and Diaspora: This work will inform masses how the government has helped so far in the development of public libraries in Nigeria.
- Future Researcher: This project work will serve as a reference material for researchers and a basis for further work.
- The Entire Society: This work will teach the entire member of our society on the development of public libraries in Nigeria.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In the course of this research, the following questions were generated for analysis.
- Has there been any recent development stage in the public libraries in Nigeria?
- Does public libraries has any effect on national development?
- Has the Nigerian government made any significant contribution in the development of public libraries in Nigeria?
- Is there any underlying effect of libraries on the students of tertiary institution
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
- LIBRARIES: A library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing.
- DEVELOPMENT: The systematic use of scientific and technical knowledge to meet specific objectives or requirements.
- REFERENCE SOURCE: Reference sources are used to obtain a specific answer to a question.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
In fundamental aim of libraries is to provide timely, accurate, pertinent and reliable information for this users. According to Olowu (2004), librarians are devoted to improving access to information and satisfying the user is paramount. There is a growing recognition that library services, particularly in public libraries are in integral part of national socio-economic development and improvement of the general quality of life (Kibat, 1990). Public libraries in Nigeria are part of the government, in terms of administration and budget procedures. The establishment of public librarian in Nigeria, however, has been mostly limited to urban areas. In Nigeria, a majority of the population lives in remote areas, some of these areas are only accessible by boat, donkey, or bicycle. The inhabitants of these rural areas are without education. The library can have an important role in the advancement of knowledge. This role can be effectively carried out with well-structured and well-planned library services. Library services, including the packaging and repackaging of information, have been provided in Nigeria for many decades (Iwhiwhu, 2008). Unfortunately, a number of problems inhibit the provision of efficient library services in rural areas of the Niger Delta and other parts of the country. These include lack of physical infrastructure, lack of information and communication technologies (ICT), illiteracy, language barriers, poverty, etc.
PUBLIC LIBRARY SERVICES IN NIGERIA
The fundamental aim of libraries is to provide timely, accurate, pertinent and reliable information, for their users.
According to Olowu (2004), libraries are devoted to providing access to information, and satisfying the user paramount. These is a growing recognition that library services particularly in public libraries are an integral part of national socio-economic development and improvement of the general quality of life (Kibat, 1990). Public libraries in Nigeria are part of the government, in terms of administration and budget procedures. The establishment of public libraries in Nigeria, however, has been mostly limited to urban areas. That has resulted in illiteracy and ignorance among young people in rural areas. In Nigeria, a majority of the population lives in remote areas. Some of these areas are only accessible by boat, donkey, or bicycle. The inhabitants of these rural areas are without education. The library can have an important role in the advancement of knowledge.
This role can be effectively carried out with well structured and well planned library services. Library services, including the packaging and repackaging of information, have been provided in Nigeria for many decades (Iwhiwhu, 2008). Unfortunately, a number of problems inhibit the provision of efficient library services in rural areas of the Niger Delta and other parts of the country. These include lack of physical infrastructure, lack of information and communication technologies (ICT), illiteracy, language barriers, poverty, etc.
LIBRARY SERVICES IN RURAL AREAS
Library services in the former Bendel State, which is the present day Delta and Edo States, was very important in the history of public library in Nigeria. It set the pace for many public library services for adults, children, and schools. Through grants from UNESCO, mobile library service was provided to serve primary and secondary schools and reading rooms. In 1967, the region was split into seven states (Abia, Anambra, Akwa-Ibom, Cross Rivers, Imo, Enugu, and Rivers State and in 1996, Ebonyi and Bayelsa). Despite high expectations, library services did not develop widely in these areas.
Bookmobile service was introduced in Nigeria by the regional governments in the 1960s and 1970s. The level of success varied. According to (Okiy, 2004), mobile library services was launched in order to extend library services to everyone in Bendel State, irrespective of location. By the end of 1977, this service had a fleet of five vans with a total book stock of 12,500 volumes. The vans operated 220 service points in 140 towns and villages.
Other library services provided by the state library service included prison and hospital trolley services, films for children and reference services.
Unfortunately these services are no longer in existence in the Niger Delta States. Research conducted in rural areas of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Foundland, Canada by (Friese, 2008) shows that bookmobile services have the potential for a greater variety and quality of service. According to (Kibat, 1990), mobile services have reached segments of the rural population that would not otherwise have any library facilities at all. The bookmobile and its counterparts in the Philippians have brought improvements to rural areas, stimulated reading interest and have increased general awareness on health, nutrition, child care, family planning etc.
SELECTIVE DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION (SDI)
To effectively render SDI services, the librarians must have a profile of the client. When the information needs of the rural population are identified, such service will be relevant to them. Nigeria is a developing country where the majority of the population lives in rural areas. The majority of these rural dwellers are either non-literate or semi-literate.
Libraries exist to serve as many people as possible, disseminating information, preserving culture, and contributing to intellectual and social life. Therefore, information pertaining to fishing and farming activities of rural areas needs to be repackaged in local languages and all of categories of users
FACTORS MILITATING AGAINST LIBRARY SERVICES IN NIGERIA RURAL AREAS
Public libraries in Nigeria have declined dramatically over the past twenty years, reflecting both the political and economic situation of the country. Library services is inhibited by poor infrastructure, inadequate funding, lack of human resource and so on. Library must service all sectors of the population:- urban and rural, literate and illiterate. It is the responsibility of all to address these and other problems affecting Nigeria library systems. These include:-
Studies have consistently reported inadequate levels of ICT literacy as one of the major problems facing libraries in Nigeria as they move into the 21st century. ICT infrastructure development and poor finding have been identified as problems, followed by poor ICT skills among staffs (Oduwole, 2005; Adedoyin, 2005). The culture of infrastructure development and maintenance is not widespread in Nigeria. Infrastructure is essential for delivery of library services to rural communities.
According to (Kibat, 1990) the major obstacle inhibiting efficient information services in rural areas are poor communication infrastructure and widely are poor communication infrastructure and widely dispersed rural population. In developed nations public libraries provide ICT’s that aid timely delivery of information to the rural population. A majority of Nigeria’s rural population still lacks the most basic telecommunications.
Nearly all library materials are purchased from outside Nigeria, mostly from Europe and America, and due to a shortage of foreign currency and high exchange rate, acquisitions have dropped sharply and in some states completely stopped. Many libraries in Nigeria cannot afford to purchase and install computers and establish an internet connection, especially in rural areas. Lack of funds is the greatest problem libraries face. Inadequate funding is hindering the development of public libraries in Nigeria (Nwokocha, 2002), (Ajibero, 2000) attributes this to economic conditions, government attributes and particularly information infrastructure.
INADEQUATE HUMAN RESOURCES
We are at a point on change in the information economy of which libraries are a part (Chad, 2008; Cited by Harris, 2009). Change is focused on innovation, technology, user experience, resource management and service delivery. These change call for education and training of librarians and other library staff. The shortage of adequately trained staff in libraries is obvious, education and training for librarianship in Nigeria is adequate and need radical restructuring to produce librarians suited to service in a knowledge-based society. At present, many rural libraries have inadequate numbers to staff and many others have staff who are seriously undereducated. If libraries in Nigeria are to survive, they must invest in the intellectual capital of their employees.
Technology used to access information can be a way to educate library staff, to provide resources and services required in rural areas and to bridge the information gap between urban and rural.
2.2 HISTORY OF LIBRARIES
The history of libraries began with the first efforts to organize collections of documents. Topics of interest include accessibility of the collection, acquisition of materials, arrangement and finding tools, the book trade, the influence of the physical properties of the different writing materials, language distribution, role in education, rates of literacy, budgets, staffing, libraries for specially targeted audiences, architectural merit, patterns of usage, and the role of libraries in a nations cultural heritage, and the role of government, church or private sponsorship. Since the 1960s issues of computerization and digitalization come to the fore.
Library history is the academic discipline devoted to the study of the history of libraries; it is a subfield of library science and historiography.
The first library consisted of archives of the earliest form of writing, the clay tablet in cuneiform script discovered in temple rooms in Sumer, some dating back to 2600 BC. These archives, which mainly consisted of the records of commercial transactions or inventories, mark the end of prehistory and the start of history.
Things were much the same in the government and temple records on papyrus of Acient Egypt. The earliest discovered private archives were kept at Ugarit, besides correspondence and inventories, texts of myths may have been standardized practice text for teaching new scribes. There is also evidence of libraries at Nippur about 1900 BC and those at Nineveh about 700 BC showing at library classification system. Over 30,000 clay tablets from the library of Ashurbanipal have been discovered at Nineveh, providing modern scholars with an amazing wealth of Mesopotamian Literary, religions and administrative work. Among the findings were the Enuma, Elish, also known as the Epic of Cutgamesh, a large selection of “Omen texts”. Including Enuma Anu Enlil which “contained Omens dealing with the moon, its visibility, eclipses, the weather, namely lightning, thunder and clouds and the planets and their visibility, appearance and station”, and astronomic/astrological texts, as well as standard list used by scribes and scholars such as word lists, bilingual vocabularies, list of signs and synonyms and list of medical diagnoses.
Philosopher Laozi was keeper of books in the earliest library in China, which belonged to the imperial Zhou dynasty. Also, evidence of catalogues found in some destroyed ancient library illustrates the presence of libraries.
The library of Alexandria, in Egypt, was the largest and most significant great library of the ancient world. It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. The library was conceived and opened their either during the reign of Ptelemy I Soter (323-283 BC) or during the rain of his son Ptelomg II (283-246 BC). An early organization system was in effect at Alexandria.
The library of Celsus in Ephesus, Anatolia, now part of Selcuk, Turkey was built in honor of the Roman Senator Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus (completed in AD 135 by Celsus Son, Gaius Julius Aquila (Consul, 110). The library was built to store 12,000 Scrolls and to serves as a monumental tomb for Celsus. The library’s ruins were hidden under debris of the city of Ephesus that was deserted in early Middle Ages. In 1903, Austrian excavations led to this hidden heap of rubble that had collapsed during an earthquake. The donator’s son built the library to honor his father’s memory and construction began around 113 or 114 presently, visitors only see the remains of the library’s facade.
Patriarchal libraries fared no better and some times worse, than the imperial library. The library of the Patriarchate of constantiriople was founded most likely during the reign of Constantine the Great in the 4th Century.
During this period, small private libraries existed. Many of these were owned by church members and the aristocracy. Teachers also were known to have small personal libraries as well as wealthy bibliophiles who could afford the highly ornate books of the period.
Through origin and especially the scholarly Presbyter Pamphiles of Caesarea, an avoid collector of books of scripture, the theological school of Caesarea won a reputation for having the most extensive ecclesiastical library of the time, containing more than 30,000 manuscripts: Gregory Nazianzus, Basil the Great, Jerome and others came and studied there.
EUROPEAN MIDDLE AGES
In the Early Middle Ages, monastery libraries developed, such as the important one at the library of Montecassino in Italy. Books were usually chaired to the shelves, reflecting the fact that manuscripts, which were created via the labour intensive process of hand copying were valuable possessions.
Also, in Eastern Christianity Monastery libraries kept important manuscripts. The most important of them were the ones in the monasteries of Mount Athos for Orthodox Christian and the library of the Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai Peninsula, Egypt for the Captic church.
ENLIGHTENMENT ERA LIBRARIES
The 17th and 18th centuries include what is known as a golden age of libraries, during this some of the more important libraries were founded in Europe. Francis Trigge chained library of St. Wulfram’s church, Granthan, Linconshire was founded in 1598 by the rector of nearby Welbourne. Thomas Bodley founded the Bodleian Library, which was open to the “whole republic of the learned”, Norwich city library was established in 1608 and British library was established in 1753. Chetham’s library in Manchester, which claims to be the oldest public library in the English – speaking world, opened in 1653. Other early town library of the UK include those of Ipswich (1612), British (founded in 1613 and opened in (1615), and Leicestor (1632). Shrewsbury school also opened its library to townsfolk.
At the start of the 18th century, libraries were becoming interestingly public and were more frequently lending libraries. The 18th century saw the switch from closed parochial libraries to lending libraries. Before this time, public libraries were parochial in nature and libraries frequently chained their books to desks libraries also were not uniformly open to the public.
`even though the British Museum existed at this time and contained over 50,000 books, the national library was not open to the public, or over to a majority of the population. Access to the Museum depended on passes, of which there was sometimes a waiting period of three to four weeks. Moreover, the library was not open to browsing. Onces a pass to the library had been issued, the reader was taken on a tour of the library. Many readers complained that the four was which too short;
Private subscription libraries functioned in much the same manner as commercial subscription libraries, through they varied in many important ways. One of the most popular versions of the private subscription library was a gentleman’s only library. Membership was restricted to the proprietors or shareholders and ranged from a dozen or two to between four and five hundred.
The Liverpool subscription library was a gentleman library. In 1798, it was renamed the Athenaeum when it was rebuilt with a newsroom and coffeehouse. It had an entrance fee of one guinea and annual subscription of five shillings. An analysis of the register for the first twelve years provides glimpse of middle class reading habits in a mercantile community at this period. The largest andmost popular sections of the library were History, Antiquities and Geography, with 283 titles and 6,121 borrowings and Bell Letters, with 238 titles and 3,313 borrowing.
Private subscription libraries held a greater amount of control over both membership and the types of books in the library. There was almost a complete elimination of cheap fiction in the private societies. Subscription libraries prided themselves on respectability. The highest percentage of subscribers were often landed proprietors, gentry, and old professions.
Towards the end of the 18th century and in the first decades of the nineteenth the need for books and general education made itself felt among social classes created by the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. The late 18th century saw a rise in subscription libraries intended for the use of tradesman in 1797, there was established at Kendel what was known as the Economical Library, “designed principally for the use and instruction of the working classes. “There was also the Artizans’ Library established at Birmingham in 1799. The entrance fee was a shilling. The subscription was 1 shilling 6pence per quarter. This was a library of general literature. Novels, at first excluded, were afterwards admitted on condition that they did not account for more than one-tenth of the annual income.
The first national libraries had their origin in the royal collections of the sovereign or some other supreme body of the state. One of the first plans for a national library was devised by the Welsh mathematician John Dee, who in 1556 presented many of England with a visionary plan for the preservation of old books, manuscripts and records and the founding of a nation library but his proposal was not taken up.
Soloan’s collection included some 40,000 printed books and 7,000 manuscripts, as well as prints and drawings. The British Museum Act 1753 also incorporated the cotton library and the Harleian library. These were joined in 1757 by the Royal library, assembled by various British Monarchs.
In France, the first national library was the Bibliothegue Mazarine, which evolved from its origin as a royal library founded at the Louvre Palace by Charles V in 1368. At the death of Charles VI, this first collection was unilaterally bought by the English regent of France, the Duke of Bedford, who transferred it to English in 1424. It was apparently dispersed at his death in 1435. The invention of printing resulted in the starting of another collection in the Louvre inherited by Louis XI in 1461. Francis I. transferred the collection in 1534 to Fontainebleau and merged it with his private library.
The library’s collections swelled to over 300,000 volumes during the radial phase of the French Revolution when the private libraries of aristocrats and clergy were seized. After the established of the French First Republic in September 1792, “the Assembly declared the Bibliotheque Nationale. After four centuries of control by the crown, this great library now became the property of the French people”.
Modern Public Libraries:
Although by the mid-19th century, England could claim 274 subscription libraries and Scotland 266, the foundation of the modern public library system in British is the Public Libraries Act 1850. The Act first gave local boroughs the power to establish free public libraries and was the first legislative step toward the creation of an enduring national institution that provides universal free access to information and literature. In the 1830’s, at the height of the chartist movement, there was a general tendency towards reformism in the United Kingdom.
The capitalist economic model and created a significant amount of free time for workers and the middle classes were concerned that the worker’s free time was not being well-spent. This was prompted more by Victorian middle class paternalism rather than by demand from the lower social orders. Campaigners felt that encouraging the lower classes to spend their free time on morally uplifting activities, such as reading, would promote greater social good.
In 1835, and against government opposition, James Silt Buckingham, MP for Sheffield and a supporter of the temperance movement, was able to secure the chair of the select commit which would examine “the extent, causes, and consequences of the prevailing vice of intoxication among the laboring classes of the United Kingdom” and propose solutions. Francis place, a campaigner for the reading rooms, and popular lectures on subjects both entertaining and instructive to the community might draw off a number of those who now frequent public houses for the sole enjoyment they afford. Buckingham introduced to parliament a Public Institution Bill allowing boroughs to charge a tax to set up libraries and museums, the first of its kind. Although this did not become law, it had a major influence on William Ewart MP and Joseph Brotherton MP, who introduced a bill which would “(empower) boroughs with a population of 10,000 or more to raise a ½d for the establishment of museums”. This became the Museums Act 1845.
2.3 DEVELOPMENT OF PUBLIC LIBRARY IN NIGERIA
The development of public libraries in Africa reflects the various library system of the colonizing countries. For instance, the development in public libraries was highly influenced by the colonial masters and the level of economic viability of the countries in African (Olanlokun and Salisu, 1993).
Nnaji (1986) observes that before 1946, the only libraries of importance were in Lagos. According to the writer, the very notable and first subscription library in Lagos was founded from the estate of Mr. Tom Jones and the Oldest Libraries are the present day high court library and the Federal Ministry of Justice Library both of which were launched in 1900. There was the Lagos library, which was a subscription library and which had a reference collection and the Tom Jones Library, which was donated to the government by a Lagos citizen. In the 1946, the Lagos public library, jointly owned by the Lagos Town Council and British Council, replaced the Lagos library. A travelling library scheme was also launched in Lagos the same year.
Public libraries are founded wholly with government grants in the developing countries in agreement with the UNESCO public library manifesto (1972), which state that: a public library should be maintained by public funds, and no direct charge should be made to anyone for its services. To fulfill its purposes, the public library must be readily accessible, and its doors open for free and equal use by all members of the community regardless of race, colour, nationality, age, religion, language, status, sex, educational attainment, etc.
The eastern regional government established a Regional Library Board in 1955 to render library services to the people of the region. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) later became involved in a pilot project with the Eastern Regional government to establish a Library Board in the area. Some states were created out the Eastern Region in 1967. The East Central State Library Board was created in 1971, and the South-Eastern State Library Board was created by an Edict in 1973. These boards were charged with the responsibility of providing library services to the people. Since 1976, there has been further restructuring and changes in the names of the states in this area. New names are Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi, Rivers, Cross-Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, and Bayelsa States. All these states have library boards charged with the duty of providing library services to the citizens.
The Northern Regional government started its library services in 1952. The aim was to help the Native Authorities in the region develop the reading rooms. According to the arrangement, qualified staff would come from the headquarters in Kaduna to supervise the work that was being done in the provincial libraries.
This plan was far from being adequate, and consequently the Northern Region government appointed Mr. F.A. Sharr to look into the problems of the library needs of the region. Sharr in his report recommended that, public library should be established in each of the thirteen provincial town of the region. These libraries later formed the nucleus of library services in the various provinces. The Northern Region was broken into six states in 1967 and subsequently into nineteen states in 1996. Each state inherited from these facilities.
In a survey of public libraries in Nigeria, Olanlokun (1993) noted that there was a substantial increase in the number of branches in some states (over the 1978 survey). For instance, over fifty percent of the state had established library boards with Edo, Delta, Kano, Kaduna, Kwara, Imo, Anambra and Lagos maintaining a lead. Generally, public library development in Nigeria still has a long way to go before it can contribute meaningfully to education, information.
In summary, some of the historical circumstances that led to the establishment of public library services in Nigeria include:-
- Effort of some individual who donated building and collections which formed the nucleus of public services in Nigeria;
- Establishment of regional reading rooms by colonial master which later transformed to public libraries;
- Second world war which necessitated the establishment of libraries to disseminate (war) information;
- Establishment of regional government and subsequent creation of states; and
- Increase in number of students enrolment in schools.
2.4 THE ROLE OF PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN NIGERIA
Seymour (1980), says responsive library services not simply a product of the Dewey Decimal System but it also requires intelligent planning, ability to learn from experiences and sensitivity to human needs. Concerned library person who want to provide responsive services must keep themselves constantly alert to changing library roles and ensure that library users derive maximum benefits from the services provided.
The public library is essentially a medium of education. In fact, the various roles, which the public library could play to ensure the realization of national development of Nigeria, include the following:-
- Provision of information for planning
- Provision of educational, information and facilities.
- Provision of political information
- Provision of economic document
- Undertaking researchers
- Organization of enlightenment programmes.
2.4.1 INFORMATION ROLE OF PUBLIC LIBRARY
Adeyemi (1977) describes information as a basis to the life of man just as air, water, food, and shelter. Also, Stoakley (1982) notes that communication is a vital part of human life. According to him as a develops, and his mental powers grows, the need for him to communicate complex ideas and feelings also develops. Therefore, the provision of adequate and timely information is vital to the successful completion of every human endavour, especially educational programme with the development of civilization there is a need to transmit concepts more widely than is possible through the medium of human votes and memory. Information on various aspects of literacy programmes in Nigeria abounds in journals publications and such is in form of research reports and bulletins. Libraries have the capability to identify an acquire library materials through purchases and exchanges. This type of information is needed by adult educations, community workers, researchers, politicians, educational planners, teachers, supervisors, evaluators and civil servants who are involved in the educational development programmes. These resources should not only be acquired and made available, they should be professionally organized so that library users spend less time trying to locate relevant information from them.
2.4.2 EDUCATION ROLE OF PUBLIC LIBRARY
Investment in education is everywhere under scrutinity. The days are long past when a simple and direct connection was assumed between investment in education and national development (Wali, 1991). If educators are to re-affirm their commitment to education and national development, they must be able to justify their belief that education is today not only a basic human right but also an essential tool for national development. The role of public library in this regard cannot be over-emphasized.
The public library acquires books and other relevant educational materials in line with the demands and the needs of different categories of users. It makes the materials available and accessible to the users at minimal convenience. Therefore, the public library is an information agency that assists and guides its clientele in their choice of reading materials. It affords the public especially the students the opportunity to acquire learning experiences at little or no cost. Public library also links the immediate community to cut outside world as regards acquisition of knowledge. It also enriches the educational development programmes of the society by supporting continuous education programme, such as adult education programme.
2.4.3 POLITICAL ROLES OF PUBLIC LIBRARY
Doctor (1985) defines politics as listening to various groups, reconciling conflicts interests as far as possible and thus creating a sense of security and participation among members of the society.
The public library dissemates information on the various poilitical programmes in the society. It is regarded as a public relation institution political information is an essential component of national development. Public library is next to the radio and the television stations where government policies. It is generally accepted as a public good in terms of political information.
2.4.4 RESEARCH ROLE OF PUBLIC LIBRARY
Research is seen as a diligent and careful inquiry or investigation, systematic study of phenomena and a scientific investigation (Cassel, 1994). It encourages the habit of personal and individual investigation and research, develops skills and resourcefulness in the use of books and other library materials. According to Dorothy (1977), public library facilities scientific studies, teaching and self learning process. It also acts as a repository of knowledge and thereby stores and disseminates materials of research values in the modern society. Public library serves as a stock to the society and it compiles bibliographics on various aspects such as subjects, authors and title.
2.5 SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW
Public libraries have been designed to hold the reading interest of the readers.
This is done through special exhibition of materials that serve as reading resources both print and electronic (Wall, 1991). Public library also serves as an avenue for in house story telling hours and other extention services such as the establishment of book clubs, book services, organized debates, symposia, drama and poetry. Public libraries are also established to improve literacy and enhance effective utilization of leisure by children and adults in the society.
Development Of Public Library In Nigeria
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