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Problems and prospects of providing library and information services to the prisoners in Nigeria

Jacintha Ukamaka Eze (Enugu State Library Board & Department of Library and Information science, Enugu State College of Education Technical, Awka, Nigeria)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 6 July 2015




The purposes of this paper were to find out the problematic factors in providing library and information services to Nigeria prisoners and the strategies for solving them, thereby enhancing adequate provision of the required services to these prisoners.


Seven main prisons were used for the study with a population of about 6,430 prisoners and 21 prison library/welfare workers. The sample size was 1,322 prisoners and the whole 21 workers. Questionnaires and focus group discussion (FGD) were the main instruments used for data collection. Data from the questionnaire were analyzed using frequencies and mean scores while data from FGD were analyzed descriptively.


Major findings showed that problems like funding, censorship of reading materials, restrictions due to prison policy and staffing hinder to a high extent the provision of library and information services for these prisoners. Also, improved funding of the prisons and prison libraries, services and resource sharing with other libraries, NGOs and other information providers were all seen as strategies to enhance adequate library and information services provision to the prisoners.


Library and information services are needed by everybody in today’s society. Prisoners, although incarcerated, will find useful a variety of library and information services provided to them. This paper delved into the problems of providing library and information services to Nigeria prisoners. The results of the study, if adhered to by the Nigerian prison authorities, will help a great deal in making the prisoners better citizens after release.



The author do hereby acknowledge the immense help of her research assistants, the prison workers in the studied prisons led by Mr Eziekel Omenta who helped in the collection of data used for the study. The author’s profound gratitude goes to the Nigerian Prison Service for their cooperation and support during the study and also to Professor V.W. Dike for her supervisory role and other senior colleagues who helped in one way or the other to make the study a success.


Eze, J.U. (2015), "Problems and prospects of providing library and information services to the prisoners in Nigeria", Library Review, Vol. 64 No. 4/5, pp. 285-304.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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