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Libraries and user culture: literacy and development implications

Peter Mose (Department of Languages and Literatures, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 7 August 2018

Issue publication date: 25 October 2018



The purpose of this paper is to establish stocking and services offered and user culture at the Kenya National Library Services Kisii Branch. The study sought to respond to the following questions: Which books form the stock of Kenya National Library Services Kisii Branch? Which services does the Kenya National Library Services Kisii Branch offer to the public on a regular basis? What is the user motivation for and frequency of use of the National Library Services at Kisii Branch?


Three instruments were used in data collection; document analysis, observation and interview. Document analysis obtained data on membership and frequency; observation obtained data on stocking, services, and user culture; and interview sought clarification on data obtained from documents and observation.


The findings indicate that publications in business and accounting and school type books form the bulk of the stock of books; the library offers only basic information access services; users are motivated by school assignments, examinations and academic project deadlines to visit the library hence user frequency in the library is predictable throughout the year.

Practical implications

Current practices at the library by both library staff and user culture have negative implications on public literacy and socio-economic development.


This paper presents information obtained from a systematic data collection and analysis. The findings are original and should be addressed by the relevant stakeholders.



Mose, P. (2018), "Libraries and user culture: literacy and development implications", Library Management, Vol. 39 No. 8/9, pp. 506-517.



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