Access to and use of public library services in Nigeria

  • Abdulsalam Abiodun Salman University of Zululand
  • Tinashe Mugwisi University of Zululand
  • Bertha Jantine Mostert University of Zululand
Keywords: Public library access, Public library use, Public library services, Public library users, Nigeria


The study investigated the factors hampering access to and use of public library (urban and rural) services in Nigeria. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods were employed through the administration of a questionnaire to users in both urban and rural public libraries in Nigeria and conducting interviews with the public librarians. The objectives of the study centred on identifying awareness and utilisation of library services, including utilisation patterns. The study also sought to investigate levels of satisfaction among users as well as make recommendations for improved service delivery. The population was the registered public library user group from which 394 users were randomly sampled from twelve purposively selected libraries – two from each of the six regions. The respondents were mainly an educated male user group representing a wide variety of occupations. Awareness of services was restricted to a few services, and accessibility to the major library services was found to be a challenge to many. Utilisation patterns indicated infrequent use of only a few services, and very low satisfaction with what is being offered. Challenges identified included unawareness of services, too few copies of materials and lack of information literacy skills. Recommendations included the enhancement of community participation in decision-making concerning services, that relevant and enough materials be supplied, and that effective marketing be employed to improve access and to promote services among users and potential users.


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