Public Administration Project Topics

An Investigation of Alternative Sources of Funding and Its Impact on Public Libraries in Nigeria (a Case Study of Kwara State Library)




Background Of The Study

A library is essential to the educational, political, and socio-economic development of every nation. The fundamental aim of libraries is to provide timely, accurate, pertinent, and reliable information for their users. A library, according to Chamber`s Encyclopedia,(2007) is a collection of books and other forms of records housed, organized and interpreted to meet broad and varying needs of the people such as information, knowledge, recreation and aesthetic-values.

The public library is a social institution that is inextricably linked to the political and social reality of the communities in which it exists. This is an open-to-the-public library, as the name indicates, and it is usually financed with public funds. Evans, (2000), in his view, asserted that a public library is an institution that is set up by the government through enabling law, funded and mentioned that is expected to meet the educational, informational, and recreational needs of its community.

According to Obizue (2016), public libraries are often regarded as the poor man’s university. Its clientele is heterogeneous, devoid of race, status, rank, or bias as to who would avail of its services. It stocks every conceivable item that would add to the knowledge, education, research, information, and cultural needs of society. In Nigeria today, each of the 36 states in the country, including Abuja, has a public library board established under the public library act. Libraries are financed and sustained to satisfy their communities’ academic, informational, and recreational demands. Amaechi (2014) asserted that a public library is formed, sponsored, and funded using public money.

The availability of funds for the day-to-day operation of the library is referred to as “public library financing.” Obviously, funds are the most important aspect of any institution. Hence, public library funding refers to the numerous methods through which public libraries get the necessary funds for capital and recurring costs.


However, financing and budgetary commitments to Nigerian public libraries have remained insufficient throughout the years (Omotayo 2000).

This has resulted in inadequate library material upkeep, a lack of useful and educational resources, a lack of contemporary and updated publications, and so on. As a result, Emojorho (2004) emphasized that public libraries need adequate resources to run their services, pay and hire personnel, provide current information, arrange, organize, and monitor both human and material resources.

Furthermore, Anafulu (2007) claimed that the level of finance received by a library has a direct impact on the quality of its services. As a result, he further stated that while the majority of library financing comes from state and local sources, federal aid is equal to none in terms of providing crucial support, providing libraries around the country with the financial support they need to serve their communities. Due to public libraries’ financial decadence and consistent underfunding, it has become critical to identify potential alternative funding sources for public libraries.

Statement Of The Problem

Academic libraries, according to Akporhonor (2005), are funded through the budgets of their parent organizations. Basically, the finances allocated covers sundry current expenses. However, in some case, Nigeria ministry of education aids the financial needs of public libraries.

However, in many public libraries, the budgetary allocation is not released as at when due, and this in-turn delays the implementation of the library programs. According to Friese (2003), poor accountability of funds allocated to respective libraries has engineered the prevalence of fund embezzlement in public libraries, and this ugly act results in a shortage of funds. Consequent to this is that it results in ineffective and poor management of the libraries. On the other hand, Opara (2008) claimed that there is inadequate funding of public libraries by the state government, which provides about 80% of the funds required by public libraries. On the contrary, Eteng (2018) stated that government-owned libraries do not derive funds from government allocations alone, but can obtain financing from endowment funds, library fees, gifts, and other miscellaneous sources such as the sale of duplicate materials, fines, and photocopying; that the bursar integrates and collates the various estimates from the various departments. Hence, the ability of library staff to explore those sources will contribute immensely to solving the problem of the poor availability of funds in public libraries. Thus, the above forms the basis for this study.

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Objective Of The Study

The primary aim of this study is to investigate the impact of alternative sources of funding on Nigeria’s public libraries. Specifically, the study will

1.        Identify the causes of poor library funding in Nigeria’s public libraries.

2.        Ascertain the alternative sources of funds for public libraries in Nigeria.

3.        Determine the impact of fund availability on public libraries in Nigeria.

 Research Question

The study will be guided by the following questions:

1.        What are the causes of poor library funding in Nigeria’s public libraries?

2.        What are the alternative sources of funds for public libraries in Nigeria?

3.        Does fund availability have a positive impact on the management of public libraries in Nigeria?

Significance Of The study

The management of public libraries in Nigeria has been poor to an extent. This, however, has been attributed to the poor managerial skills of the administrators. This study will highlight the need for the recruitment of well-qualified librarians and adequate training of the existing staff, especially in the area of fund sourcing and management. The study will further be useful to librarians as it will educate them on the available sources of funds through which they can raise finance for effective management of the library.

Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the impact of alternative sources of funding on Nigeria’s public libraries.

Scope Of The Study

The study was carried out on the impact of alternative sources of funding on Nigeria’s public libraries. Further, the study will be limited to investigating the causes of poor library funding in Nigerian public libraries, ascertaining the alternative sources of funds for public libraries in Nigeria, and determining the impact of fund availability on public libraries in Nigeria. Thus, the study will be carried out in Kwara State Library, where the respondents will be obtained.

 Limitation Of The Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

 Definition Of Terms

Library: A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order to meet the user’s needs on a daily basis.

Public Library: A public library is a library that is accessible by the general public and is usually funded from public sources, such as taxes.

Funding: This is  the act of providing resources to finance a need, program, or project.



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