Original Research

An investigation on the forms of information sources and services utilised among rural dwellers from public libraries in the North-West zone of Nigeria

Badamasi B. Mohammed, Francis Garaba
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 21, No 1 | a1020 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v21i1.1020 | © 2019 Badamasi B. Mohammed, Francis Garaba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 July 2018 | Published: 31 October 2019

About the author(s)

Badamasi B. Mohammed, School of Social Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Francis Garaba, School of Social Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Rural dwellers need timely, accurate, pertinent and reliable information for sustainable rural development. However, in Nigeria it is estimated that over 70% of people are living in rural areas who are mainly non-literate people who cannot read and write in any language. It is against this background that this article sought to investigate the forms of information sources and services utilised among rural dwellers from public libraries in the North-West zone of Nigeria to find out whether they are relevant and appropriate to the nature of this group of people.

Objectives: The study aimed at investigating the forms of information sources and services utilised among rural dwellers from public libraries in the North-West zone of Nigeria for sustainable rural development.

Method: Wilson’s 1981 model suggests that information-seeking behaviour arises as a result of a need perceived by an information user, who, in order to satisfy that need, makes demands upon formal or informal information sources and services. Hence, the model was adopted to underpin the current study. A structured questionnaire was designed and personally administered to the study participants. The quantitative data were analysed using the SPSS software and descriptive statistics.

Results: Despite the fact that most of the rural dwellers in the North-West zone of Nigeria are non-literate people, it is evident from the results that there is utilisation of various forms of information sources and services from public libraries. The predominant forms of information sources utilised among rural dwellers from the libraries were printed materials, posters, flyers and audiovisuals. However, the forms of information services provided to rural dwellers by the libraries were traditional library services and awareness campaigns about government policies.

Conclusion: The study revealed that utilisation of public libraries’ information sources and services among rural dwellers in the area under study revolved around printed materials and traditional library services. It is evident that most of the library users among rural dwellers were those who were literate, as the non-literate people who were the majority did not patronise the libraries. Thus, this study will assist authorities of the public libraries in the area under study to provide relevant and effective information sources and services to rural dwellers for sustainable rural development.


Keywords

Utilisation; information sources; information services; public libraries; rural dwellers.

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