Digital Divide: Issues and Strategies for Intervention in Nigerian Libraries

Jerome Idiegbeyan-ose (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria), Christopher Nkiko (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria), Mary Idahosa (Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Nigeria) and Nwanne Nwokocha (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 39
EISBN13: 9781522533467|DOI: 10.4018/JCIT.2016070103
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Abstract

This paper discussed digital divide, issues and strategies for intervention in Nigerian libraries. It defined digital divide as the gap that exist between countries, within countries, individuals, families and so on in their access and usage of Information Technology facilities such as the internet, computers, laptops, various handheld devices, application software etc. The paper also discussed the causes of digital divide comprising finance, level of education, location of the individual and language as well as discussing the effects of digital divide to encompass inequality in access to information; ineffective services to users, libraries being unable to satisfy their clientele. The paper went further to discuss the present state of ICT facilities adoption and use by Libraries in Nigeria, compared to their equals in developed countries. The paper pointed out that most Nigerian libraries are far from full automation and Internet connectivity; the staff lack technical skills to build and maintain ICT for enhanced service delivery; libraries in rural areas of these developing countries are more neglected as available ICT facilities and internet connections are mostly available and accessible in the urban areas thus, those leaving in the rural areas are cut off from the numerous benefits of ICT. The paper concluded that Digital divide is a menace that affects information availability and access; growth and development in between countries and within countries and has led to inequality in access and use of ICT facilities as such, Nigerian libraries should wake up to their responsibilities by providing the required infrastructure needed to bridge the gap to prevent the escalation of digital divide. The paper finally recommended the formulation and implementation of ICT policy, adequate funding of libraries by those concerned, education and training of human resources to build and maintain ICT facilities, curriculum innovation by library schools so as to inculcate ICT courses for skills acquisitions of the professionals, improvement of maintenance culture and eradication of corruption in the entire system to enable developing countries take advantage of ICT facilities, make progress and move along with modernity and global sophistication.
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