Perceptions of Public Libraries in Kenya

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  • Knowledge without boundaries

  • What does the Perceptions Study tell us?Geoffrey Kimani, Director of Research and Insights, TNS RMSwww.eifl.net

  • Research backgroundGeographies: Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, ZimbabweObjective: to understand the awareness, perceptions, attitudes and actions towards public libraries of different target groups: central and local government officials, users, non users and librariansTime: 2011 January-June

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  • Samples of respondents

    CategoryTotalKenya UgandaTanzaniaGhanaZimbabweEthiopiaLibrary users1990499498499494Non users of libraries1201300300301300Librarians283635048673520Local level officials (operating libraries)202303138144049Local level officials (not operating libraries)7621192610National Level officials991920202020

  • Keyfindings

  • Libraries are important to individuals and communitiesOpinion of usersOpinion of local government officials

    Chart1

    4552300

    4253400

    Essential

    Very important

    Fairly important

    Not very important

    Not important at all

    49%

    43%

    48%

    52%

    Sheet1

    EssentialVery importantFairly importantNot very importantNot important at all

    Community4552300

    Personally4253400

    Chart1

    494836Community

    4352311

    Essential

    Very important

    Fairly important

    Not very important

    Not important at all

    49%

    43%

    48%

    52%

    Sheet1

    EssentialVery importantFairly importantNot very importantNot important at all

    Community494836

    Personally4352311

  • Public libraries are actively used

    Total Kenya Uganda Tanzania GhanaBase (=total sample)1990499498499494%%%%%Daily2733182729Weekly5454596240Monthly121016714Every other month424310Once or twice a year31116Don't know1- 201

  • Primary use of public libraries is educational

    Purpose of libraries by (users)Total Kenya Uganda Tanzania GhanaBase (=total sample)1990499498499494%%%%%Educational purposes (for homework or to take a class) 9194908695National news or information 3437363230Local news or information 2833342815Entertainment 2616192938Information on health issue 2018221722International news or information 151492212To conduct a job search or write a CV121414145Loan books 11122228To look for information on starting or running a business 10151466

  • But the benefits derived go beyond education

    Total Kenya Uganda Tanzania GhanaBase (=total sample)1990499498499494%%%%%Developed new skills or learned something new 8990939284Obtained new ideas, new interests 7881788073Got helpful information for school/ learning 7367718072Experienced the library as safe and quiet place for study and reading 6763646773Save time 5552447155Enjoyed the visits- have you felt comfortable in the library 5252585148Got helpful information for health and well being 3631414726Made contacts with other people 3627354736Got helpful information for business and commerce 3138324310Got helpful information about your community 312630599Be better in your job 212431235

  • And the needs of inhabitants go beyond education

    Perceived purpose of libraries (non users)Total Kenya Uganda Tanzania GhanaBase (=total sample)1201300300301300%%%%%Educational purposes (for homework or to take a class) 9798949798Local news or information 5646657141Information on health issue 5549596548National news or information 5547576948To help children do homework 5139515064Information on agriculture 4945496042Entertainment 4323496634It is safe place for my child to spend time 4126375249To look for information on starting or running a business 3830355530

  • What people like and what they dont

    How users rate different library aspects

    Chart1

    412192243

    417172042

    519162237

    626181535

    626211731

    825101046

    102410946

    124318719

    14631571

    17502283

    2164824

    25601141

    Excellent

    Good

    Bad

    Very bad

    Dont Know/NA

    Sheet1

    Rating of different library aspectsExcellentGoodBadVery badDont Know/NA

    Other collections (CD, DVD)412192243

    Computer software417172042

    Computers and other equipment519162237

    Range of databases626181535

    Events626211731

    Librarian expertise in working with computer825101046

    Librarians assistance with ICT's102410946

    Periodicals124318719

    Library facilities, space14631571

    Books17502283

    Librarians competence2164824

    Library opening hours25601141

  • There is a need for technology37% of users dissatisfied with library services say that they lack computers42% of librarians say that they lack technology related skills89% of librarians would have invested more funding in technologies

  • Potential library users49% of current non users in Kenya would be motivated by more content online, 31% - by more computers in the libraryWhether non-users intend to start using libraries

    Chart1

    371548

    472231

    421444

    341353

    271063

    Yes

    Maybe

    No

    37%

    47%

    42%

    34%

    27%

    15%

    22%

    14%

    13%

    %

    48%

    31%

    44%

    53%

    63%

    Sheet1

    Telling othersYesMaybeNo

    Total371548

    Kenya472231

    Uganda421444

    Tanzania341353

    Ghana271063

    To resize chart data range, drag lower right corner of range.

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  • Priorities of local governments regarding libraries

    Total Kenya Uganda Tanzania Ghana Zim EthioBase = (officials of local authorities that operate libraries)202303138144049Focus areas%%%%%%%Provision of Computer services 28233213436010Equip the library with relevant books, CDs and DVDs 2320291173527Introduce a cyber cafe for the users/internet services 162065431522Increase the variety of new edition books and materials 161729514288Expand space to meet the increased number of readers 11172318143- Provide advanced technologies 9171052936Provide books for college students and relevant to the current curriculum 8101011- 106Have updated materials for all matters pertaining to education of all relevant fields 71333- 812

  • National officials strongly agree with the library helping to bridge the digital divide

    Chart1

    593371

    593740

    4537152

    4437153

    483993

    Strongly agree

    Agree

    Disagree

    Strongly disagree

    59%

    59%

    45%

    44%

    48%

    Sheet1

    Information Society and Digital DivideStrongly agreeAgreeDisagreeStrongly disagree

    Provide access to the valuable intellectual resources, that otherwise would be hard to find and access and potentially underused593371

    Provide access to professionally processed (collected, analyzed, classified, etc.) information59374-

    Provide free access to information technologies (for persons, business, etc.)4537152

    Provide assistance in using the Internet and other information sources4437153

    Contributes to the development of information technology skills483993

    To resize chart data range, drag lower right corner of range.

  • Local government officials perceptions regarding the potential of libraries

    Chart1

    0.43

    0.46

    0.46

    0.46

    0.49

    0.51

    0.56

    0.66

    Strongly agree

    Sheet1

    Strongly agreeSeries 2Series 3

    Citizen Empowerment, Democracy and E-Government43%2.42

    Communication46%4.42

    Culture46%1.83

    Agriculture46%2.85

    Social Inclusion and Community development49%

    Economic development51%

    Health56%

    Education66%

  • Library potentialBoth local and national government officials recognize libraries potential to support policy strands outside what are perceived to be their core competences of education, literacy and culture. The officials readily accept the notion that libraries could contribute in the areas of economic development, employment, health, agriculture and the digital divide

  • Thank you

    Geoffrey Kimani: g.kimani@research-int.com http://www.eifl.net/perception-study

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