Development Of Public Library In Nigeria With Reference To Imo State Central Library Owerri

Library And Information Science Project Topics

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This project is on the development of public libraries in Nigeria with reference to the Imo Central Library, Owerri. Chapter one of this work traces the history of public Library development in Imo State starting from the days of the eastern Nigeria Library Board which serried as a platform for the establishment of the Imo State Central Library Owerri. Chapter two highlights the roles which a public Library can play in the society in it’s capacity as an agency of education, information, culture, recreation and asthetic appreciation. Services rendered by public Libraries were mentioned, such services includes reference services, circulations of materials, local collections development, display and exhibition, etc. problems militating against public Library development in the state were also highlighted in this chapter. Three methods of data collection were used in this project. Three methods of data collection were used in this project. These include: oral interview, examination of the Libraries records and the questionnaire made. Through these methods the researcher collected relevant data for this project work. In chapter five, findings were made from investigation carried act about the Library from these findings, the researcher therefore made a number of recommendations which he hoped will develop in Imo State.





Title page

Approval page




Table of content



1.1             Background to the study

1.2            Statement of problems

1.3            Objective of the study

1.4            Research Question

1.5            Scope of the study

1.6            Significance of the study

1.7            Population of the study


2.1             Literature Reviews

2.2            The Public Library as an agency of education

2.3            The public Library as an agency for information

2.4            The public Library as an agency for rural extension

2.5             The public Library as an agency for manpower development.

2.6            The public library as a culture agency.

2.7            Public library: an agency for aesthetic appreciation

2.8            Public library: Agency for recreation

2.9            Services Rendered by the public library.

2.10       Circulation of material

2.11       Reference services

2.12       User Instrument / Education

2.13       Local Collection Development

2.14       Display and current awareness services

2.15       Clientele

2.16       Functions of public libraries

2.17       How public library is funded

2.18       Problems militating against public library development.


3.1             Research method

3.2            Oral Interview

3.3            Records and Report

3.4            Questionnaire


4.1             Data Analysis and Interpretation

4.2            Oral Interview

4.3            Questionnaire method


5.0             Summary of finding and conclusion

5.1     Findings conclusion

5.2     Conclusion


Appendix 1




















In this modern world of information explosion the society is always in need of information agencies strive to meet this information need. Numerous definitions have been given to the term library, one of such definitions are contained in the encyclopedia Britannica (vol.22, 1988) state that “a library is a collection of written, printed or other graphic or visual materials (including files, photographs, tapes, phonograph records, video discs, microforms and computer programmes) organized and maintained for reading, study and consultation. Another definition of library is from the websters New York World Dictionary (1991) which states hat “library is a room or building where a collection of books, periodicals etc are kept for reading and reference” collier’s encyclopedia (vol.14,1990) defines the “library as collection of graphic materials, books, films, magazines, maps manuscripts, organized for use” while majority of people take a library to be a place where books are kept. These views of people about the library is not satisfactory.

Therefore, the definition of a library to be accepted by all should be the one given by Agbodike 1995 in a lecture delivered, “ A library is a collection of records of human culture in print or non-print information providing materials, or book and non-book materials, house, preserved, organized, interpreted and managed by professional librarians or clientele for information, knowledge, education, research, recreation and aesthetic appreciation and cultural enjoyment. The definition which unites the library to book alone is incomplete for there are many other forms of recorded knowledge such as tapes, firms, microfilms, microfishes, video tapes and projectors contained in the holdings of libraries. Commenting on the changing roles of the library, the father of librarianship, Melvin, Dewy (1906) stated that the library has lost it’s etymologic meaning and means not a collection of books but the central agency for disseminating information, innocent recreation or best of all, inspiration among the people.

From the definition given above, the three components of a library are books, staff and building. A library cannot exist without books or a qualified institution called a library without a building, as well as adequate finance to run and maintain it. There are different types of libraries performing different functions aimed at satisfying their various patrons. These includes: school, academic, special national and public libraries. School libraries are libraries located in primary and secondary schools. They support and enrich the educational programmes in the schools in which they are located.

Academic libraries are libraries located in institutions of high learning while special libraries are those established in companies, organizations, government department and research institutions. This type of library satisfy the needs of subject specialists and researchers. The National Library of a country is the one responsible for collecting and conserving the whole of that county’s book production for the benefit of further generations. It is the chief depository of the national arts and culture.

Public libraries are libraries built for the general public. They are supervised, financed and supported them by the state or local government of a country. According to the New encyclopedia (vol. 22, 973) “public libraries are acknowledged to be an indispensable point of community life as promoters of libraries providers of a wide range of reading for all ages, and centres for community information services”. Public libraries are established by state law supported from the general public funds and administered for the benefit of the citizens of the town, city, or region which maintains it on the basis of equal access to all, whether they are artisans, or professionals. It does not discriminate as it’s doors are open to all classes of people.

The American library Association (1967), in one of its publications, stated the functions of public libraries. Again, at the seminar in library management, organized by the University of Ibadan and the British council (1970), it was considered that the public library should provide printed and audio-visual materials to meet the individual and group needs of its community for information, self realization, recreation and culture growth and for assistance in campaign out their duties are citizens and members of the community.


The Imo State Library Board came into existence with the creation of Imo and Anambra state. Despite the creation of the Imo state out of the former east central state, both continued to maintain a central library services under the east central state library board until September, 1976, when the library staff of Imo State origin had to be transferred to Owerri to establish the administrative headquarters of the present Imo State library Board. At the same time, the assets and liabilities of the former east central state were shared. The movement of staff to Owerri created accommodation problems. Most of the junior staff occupied the uncompleted library building as their residence and worked very hard to see that the library was opened early for services.


The Imo State Library Board was actually set up by edict N0. 12 of the Imo State library Board edict 1977. The edict state: “There is hereby established a board to be known as the Imo state library Board. The Board shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and with power to sue and be sued in its corporate name”. The edict which set up the Imo state library  board had made it an animate body can sue and be sued in its corporate name.

The services of the board are supplemented by the divisional libraries at Aba, Abriba, Umuahia (now in Abia state), Orlu and Mbano. The Board started it’s operation with the sum of five hundred and forty thousand, eight hundred and thirty-two naira (540,832.00) for the financial year 1976 and 1977 with six catalogue cabinets, catalogue cards, some metal filing cabinets and few type writers. In addition to this, the state government provided the sum of five hundred thousand naira to cover its capital expenditure. Anambra and Imo state share a considerable quantity of new books which had not been allocated prior to the creation of state.


The Imo State library Board was appointment on 10th November, 1976. Its member were Professor A.O. Anya as chairman and seven members namely, professor, D.I. Nwoga, Dr. Eze Ogueri, Miss. Gloria I. Ofor, Mazi F. Nwosu Ezi, Mrs. R. Umelo, the permanent secretary, ministry of education and information (Mr. N.C. Okonkwo), or his representative and the director of library services. It held its first meetings on December 17th 1976 and it was addressed by the then honourable commissioner for education and information (Dr. M.A Nwachukwu), on 14th January 1977. The Board held three meetings altogether during the period under review.

          The board relationship with the press has been most cordial and added to this is the Boards’ determination to provide adequate public library facilities for the state. It will not be satisfied until every major centre of the community in the state particularly the headquarters of the local government areas have been provided with effective public library services.

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Development Of Public Library In Nigeria With Reference To Imo State Central Library Owerri