Public library service: a catalyst for community development
The study examined public library service as a catalyst for community development. This study is delimitated to 10 public libraries in Isu, Mbano, Umuhu, Aboh-Mbaise, Okigwe, Orlu, Orodo, Afara, Nkwerre and Obowo, all in Imo state.The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The population of the study consists of all the staff working in the ten public libraries and all the dwellers in these same ten communities listed above, out of which the researcher selected forty-six (46) Librarians and Two Hundred (200) community dwellers using the stratified sampling technique. A questionnaire with 4-point Likert scale titled Public Library and Community Development in Nigeria (PULICODEN) was developed by the researcher and used for data collection. The instrument was adequately validated by four experts and the reliability of the instrument was established at a reliability index of 0.89 using the cronbach alpha method. Two research questions and a null hypothesis guided the study. The research questions were answered with mean scores and standard deviation while the hypothesis was tested using the z-test statistics at 0.05 significance level. The result obtained revealed the grand mean of 2.74 and 2.70 and standard deviation of 1.06 and 1.07 for the public librarians and community dwellers respectively which therefore implies that the services of public libraries are important and contributory in the community development strides in Nigeria.
Keywords: Public, Library, Community, Services, Development