Methods employed by public libraries in providing services to people living with HIV and AIDS in Benue State, Nigeria
The study is on methods employed by public libraries in providing services to PLWHA in Benue State, Nigeria. The study area is Benue State , while the study design is descriptive survey. The population comprise d of 14 public librarians. A set of quest ionnaire was structured with 25 items for
public librarians. Data was collected by direct contact on -the-spot delivery and collection. Method for data analysis was by mean and standard deviation. The findings were that public libraries in Benue State emplo y methods such as newspapers, textbooks, journal/magazines and poster in meeting health information needs of PLWHA in Benue State. Also public libraries in Benue State encounter problems in employing effective methods to provide information to PLWHA. The p roblems include inadequate funds /budgetary allocation to public libraries, low remuneration to public librarians which lead to brain drain of public librarians, incessant power cut and inadequate power supply particularly
in rural areas. Others are inadeq uate staff, stigma and discrimination, cultural beliefs, illiteracy, poor settlement pattern in Benue State, lack of ICT facilities in public libraries and lack of staff training. The following recommendations were made: making adequate funding/budget allo cation to public libraries to pave way for employment of effective methods to provide services to PLWHA; provision of advocacy campaign on the role of public library services with the use of ICT, provision of print and folklore media for PLWHA; employment of staff in public libraries to render effective methods in providing services to PLWHA. Also, ICT should be employed and not just the traditional methods; libraries should constantly organise library conferences and seminars which should be accompanied
by folklore activities and public libraries in Benue State should have desk officers for classes on health, education, sports.
Key Words : Public, Libraries, Services, People, HIV, AIDS, Benue, Nigeria.