COVID-19 pandemic and evolving library and information services: Lessons for Nigeria

  • Gabriel James Ameh
  • Henry Chima Ukwuoma
  • Peter Olorunleke Oye
Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; Libraries; Librarians; Digital technologies, Innovations.


Purpose: This paper examined the impact of the novel COVID-19 pandemic on libraries in the world with emphasis on lessons for Nigeria.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Using secondary data and literature sourced from journals and the Internet, the paper gave a brief chronology of the emergence of the disease; the extent of the danger it can cause; its symptoms and safety measures. The paper reinforced the importance of the roles libraries are playing in order to mitigate the effect of the pandemic. They include promoting the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and resources, promoting media and information literacy, using information management to support health care and other social services, raising awareness of the disease and safety measures, and fighting  against misinformation on the disease.

Findings: The findings of this study revealed that from the ecological view point there are endemic constraints libraries in Nigeria are facing, which have prevented them from innovating programmes and services like in advanced climes to effectively contribute to mitigating the effect of COVID-19 pandemic in the country. The constraints include poor reading culture, passive nature of librarians, negative disposition of the society towards library and information issues, poor funding for library education and library development, poor technologically driven library and information services amongst others.

Originality/Value: The paper concluded by making recommendations and implementation strategies including the following: libraries in Nigeria must create more values for users, must become technologically innovative, government and stakeholders in the profession must act swiftly to ensure adequate policy framework for the effective functioning of libraries so that they are always in a good stead to cope with changing trends.

Practical Implication: In any pandemic the roles of the library include promoting awareness by creating and disseminating information relating to preventive measures, supporting research by providing information regarding latest developments and meeting the information needs of the user community. More so, the proper documentation of all facts gathered before, during and after the pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; Libraries; Librarians; Digital technologies, Innovations.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2734-3316
print ISSN: 1597-9482