Literacy education and the roles of Nigerian libraries and librarians
Education is regarded as a vital tool for enlightenment and empowerment that allow meaningful contributions by individuals to the society they belong to. Unfortunately, most African countries, Nigeria inclusive, have been characterised by under-development of human and natural resources as well as general poor quality of life of the majority of their citizens. This is evidenced by the low literacy rates and figures accorded these countries whereas studies have indicated that literacy is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty, ignorance, diseases, inequality, sustaining economic growth as well as improving the development of individuals and nations, occasioned by effective and wise use of knowledge and information. This paper therefore looks at how librarians (in schools and public libraries) in the country could help reduce illiteracy (rates) among the Nigerian populace. It discusses the concept of literacy, some countries' literacy rates and figures, implications of literacy, implications of information in literacy education and the roles of Nigerian libraries and librarians. It also proffers valuable suggestions amongst which are information literacy training in schools and at the societal levels, use of ICTs tools in Nigerian libraries and among librarians especially in the public, elementary and secondary school levels and lastly, aggressiveness on the part of librarians.
Keywords: Information for development; Information literacy; Literacy; Literacy education and Roles of Librarians in literacy education