Disaster and Digital Libraries in Developing Countries: Issues and Challenges

Disaster and Digital Libraries in Developing Countries: Issues and Challenges

Goodluck Ifijeh (Covenant University, Nigeria), Jerome Idiegbeyan-Ose (Covenant University, Nigeria), Chidi D. Isiakpona (Covenant University, Nigeria) and Julie Ilogho (Covenant University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3914-8.ch047
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Digital libraries have become a modern day phenomenon. Their roles in information generation,organization, dissemination and storage cannot be overemphasized. This chapter articulates the importance of digital libraries and the need to preserve them from disasters. It highlights the causes and effects of disasters in digital libraries. Prevention and management of disasters were also discussed. Issues and challenges around information and communication technology (ICT), that has direct bearings on digital libraries and disaster management in developing countries were raised. In addition, recommendations were made on how to improve on disaster prevention and control.
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Development is a major aspiration of every nation in today’s world of global competition. Pivotal to the attainment of development is the acquisition and utilization of required information; hence Isiakpona and Ifijeh (2012) posited that information is the driver of development. The availability and accessibility of information is the primary responsibility of libraries; it is in that light that we refer to the library as a storehouse of information. Ottong and Ottong (2013) opined that the library is an institution set up to support the tripartite functions of teaching, learning and research.

A library could also be seen as an institution concerned with the collection, processing, storage and dissemination of recorded information for the purpose of reading, study and consultation, in order to satisfy the varying information needs of its clientele. (Aina, 2004). Kargbo (2002) noted that “libraries are derivative agencies. They arise from particular needs within a society, and their types and functions reflect the diversity within the society.”

Since the turn of the 21st century, libraries have been drifting from the utilization of manual methods of operations to automated methods. The resources made available in the libraries are also being repackaged in virtual or electronic format. It is this drift that has brought about the concept of digital libraries (Ottong and Ottong, 2013).

Digital libraries carry out specialized library services and functions to its clientele through automated methods or machine readable formats. Nwalo (2011) described digital libraries as any of the following:

  • Collection of electronic journals and books

  • Repository of multimedia files

  • Archives of information created from local knowledge

  • Electronic version of libraries.

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