Repositioning Nigerian Public Libraries for Literacy Development in the Information Age:
Strategies and Challenges

Austin J. C. Mole Ph.D
Department of Library and Information Science,
University of Nigeria, Nsukka
0806327634 7, email: moleajc@yahoo. com

Chibuzo L. Dim
Nnamdi Azikiwe Library
University of Nigeria, Nsukka
08038076441 chibuzordim@yahoo. com

Millie Horsfall
University of Portharcourt Library,

Literacy is arguably the single most pervasivc educational issue for the 21st century. It is gradually becoming an indispensable factor in the overall development ofthe individual. Despite the importance of literacy, individuals are denied literacy learning spaces and opportunities. One of the reasons for this is that stakeholders such as libraries and librarians are poorly prepared to cope with the challenges of literacy development. This paper examines the need for literacy development among the citizenry and the role of public libraries in literacy development. It also describes the poor state of literacy development in Nigeria; how public libraries can be repositioned to promote literacy development in Nigeria, and the role of stakeholders in repositioning public libraries for literacy development in the information age. The paper also examined some inherent challenges and makes general recommendations for repositioning public libraries for literacy development in the information age. Among the recommendations made is that there is need for literacy development policy which could among others. address the need for a comprehensive and result oriented literacy development for the members of the public. The rural dwellers including students, farmers, peasants, opinion leaders, market women, artisans etc should be made to acquire information literary and library use skills. Information resources and services should be provided in various varieties and formats and should be provided systematically to stimulate the interest and enthusiasm of the rural populace. The libraries should regularly organize workshops, book talks, discussion groups and seminars for members of the public.
Key words: Public libraries, Literacy, Literacy development, Information age, Introduction

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