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1.1  Background to the study

Information and its effective and proper dissemination is a powerful force to reckon with in any nation. There will be no meaningful development in any nation if proper attention is not paid to libraries. Since researches birth new discoveries and inventions, it is a common place to have libraries as the incubating home of researchers, therefore, it logically follows that the invaluable roles that libraries play in the development of any nation cannot be overemphasized (Fabunmi and Folorunso 2009). Generally, public libraries are seen as public goods. They are universities of the people since it gives access to every intending member of the public. Library’s Glossary Dictionary (1977) defined a public library as a library established by local, state or central government for the use of the general public. There are however, some individuals or organizations that establish library that offers services to the public free of charge and such libraries also provide educational, social and political information to people in a particular community. Olanlokun and Salisu (1993) viewed that public libraries are libraries set up to provide free but traditional service to everyone.

A public library is a service oriented institution with set goals to be achieved within the resources made available by the parent institution, which is usually the government. In other words, a public library is primarily established to provide viable and revealed services to the entire members of the public. Public libraries in Nigeria have the same universal function of serving the general public by providing educational opportunities for self-development. In order to realize the objective, the functions of public libraries therefore involve the acquisition, collection, organization, and dissemination of information available in the form of printed and non-printed materials for effective use. Users of public libraries are very many as they cut across all walks of life and also embrace illiterates, pensioners, children, adolescent, adults, farmers, physically challenged people etc.

The public library is therefore the main arena through which the overall information resources in various areas of knowledge are made freely available to all members of the society irrespective of the age, sex, religion, cultural background and educational standard as well as political and social inclination. In 1953, the Federal Government of Nigeria with the help of UNESCO organized the first regional seminar on the development of public libraries in the various regions of Nigeria with the following objectives (Edoka, 2000):

i.  Creating and strengthening reading habits in children from early age;

ii. Supporting both individual and self -conducted education as well as formal;

iii.  Providing opportunities for personal creative development;

iv.  Stimulating the imagination and creativity of children and young adults;

v.  Promoting awareness of cultural and appreciation of the arts, scientific achievement and innovations;

vi.  Providing access to cultural expressions of all performing arts;

vii.  Fostering intercultural difference and favouring cultural diversity;

viii. Supporting oral tradition;

ix. Ensuring access for citizens to all sorts of community information;

x.  Providing adequate information services to local enterprises, associations and interests groups;

xi. Facilitating the development of information and computer literacy skills and;

xii. Supporting and participating in literacy activities and programs for all age group and initiating such activities if necessary.

Oderinde (1980) affirmed that the “foundation of Nigeria’s public libraries services was laid by non-Nigerians, and with funds from abroad”. It was only in 1950s that the government of the Federation of Nigeria started to encourage library development. It was argued that the UNESCO seminar on development of public libraries in Africa held at the University College, Ibadan in August 1953 was the starting point. The Ibadan UNESCO seminar focused and highlighted on organizing public libraries on Regional or National scale, provision, selection and use of publication and audio-visual materials in African public libraries and on professional training for public libraries services.

In summary, some of the historical circumstances that led to the establishment of public libraries services in Nigeria include, efforts of some individuals who donated building and collections which later formed the nucleus of public services in Nigeria, establishment of regional reading rooms by colonial masters which later transformed to public libraries, second World War which necessitated the establishment of public information centers to disseminate (war) information, establishment of regional government and subsequent creation of states and increase in number of students’ enrolment in schools.      

1.2  Statement of the problem

Overtime, library funding and development in Nigeria has been on the decline. The Nigerian government has been culpable for this as little or no attention is given towards the development and funding of libraries in the budget. Even when it is captured in the budget, they are scarcely implemented. The management of libraries in Nigeria have not lived up to their expectation of sourcing for funds in developing libraries since the government has not done enough in developing them. This study therefore, looked into the different strategies through which revenue can be generated for the development and effective running of public libraries, a case study of Ibome-library, Uyo, AkwaIbom State, Nigeria.

1.3   Significance of the study

The findings from this study will help to highlight the strategies through which public libraries can generate revenue, the effective and proper use of revenue generated and to identify the most effective means of generating revenue for public libraries.

1.4   Objective of the study

This study was undertaken majorly to investigate the strategies for generating revenue for public libraries. The study also aims at:

i.  Determining the different avenues through which public libraries generate revenue.

ii. Ascertaining whether revenue generated by public libraries is channeled properly for the development and management of the libraries.

iii. Evaluate the most effective means of generating revenue for public libraries.  

1.5   Research questions

It is in view of the above problems that the following questions arise:

i. What are the different avenues through which public libraries can generate revenue?

ii. Are revenue generated by public libraries used for proper management and development of the libraries?

iii. What are the most effective means of generating revenue for public libraries?

1.6   Research hypotheses

H0: Revenue generation does not significantly influence public libraries development in Nigeria.

H1:Revenue generation significantly influences public libraries development in Nigeria.  

1.7    Limitations of the study

The study was carried out to investigate the strategies for generating revenue for public libraries in Nigeria. The study is limited to Ibom e-library, in AkwaIbom, Uyo Local Government Area to be precise. This is because of her representative nature of all public librariesin AkwaIbom State, proximity to the researcher, time and financial constraints.

1.8  Scope of the study

This research work is on the strategies for generating revenue for public libraries in Nigeria, using Ibom e-library as a case study.

1.9  Definition of terms

Library: This is a building or room containing collections of books, periodicals, and sometimes films and recorded music for use or borrowing by the public or the members of an institution.

Revenue: The amount of money that an organisation actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned merchandise.

Strategy: This is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.  


Edoka, B.E (2000). Introduction to Library Science. Enugu: Snaap.  

Fabunmi, F.A and Folorunso, O (2009) The Roles of Libraries and Information Centers as   Engine Rooms for National Development in Nigeria. Proceedings of International Conference on Research and Development, Cotonou: Pan African Books, 2(2) pp. 34-35.  

Ifidon, S.E and Ahiazu, B (2005): Information and Conflict Prevention in Niger-Delta Region of Nigeria. African Journal of Library, Archives and Information Science, 15 (2) 126.  

Library’s Glossary Dictionary (1977). Reverence Book. 4th Revised Edition.  

Oderinde, N.O (1980). The Position of Public Libraries in the Metropolitan Area of Lagos in    Aje, S.B and Olafioye, A.O (eds) Library Services in Metropolitan Area of Lagos: Background and Sociological framework, Lags: NLA, pp1-2.



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