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Wangui Monicah Nyambura - Master of Library and Information Science, Department of Library and Information Science, School of Education, Kenyatta University, Kenya

Dr. Daniel Muthee - Department of Library and Information Science, School of Education, Kenyatta University, Kenya


Public Libraries located in rural areas are established and designed for the purpose of providing information services to all groups in the community including children and stimulate reading for fun that promote reading culture among children and in the process ensure user satisfaction. This study was an assessment of children library services provided in rural areas a case of KNLS Kangema, with an aim of establishing whether they satisfy children information needs that will lead to lifelong reading. Objectives that guided the study included to establish the perception of library services in rural areas, identify strategies used in providing information in a rural public library, determine the information needs of children living in rural areas, to assess whether the children library services provided satisfy their information needs, and to determine the suitability of children library services provided in supporting reading for life. Different literatures was reviewed. Descriptive research design a case study approach was used. Target population included all the children registered as library members (642), teacher librarian of all the schools that had registered as institutional members (9), and library staff (4). Purposive sampling was used to sample a sample size of 64 children, 9 teacher librarians and the entire population of library staff. Questionnaires, interview, focus group discussions were used to collect data. Collected data was presented and analyzed data in form of tables and pie charts. Computer based statistical package for social science was used to analyze quantitative data. Qualitative data collected from interviews and FGD was presented in a narrative form, and where necessary the voices of the participants was cited and where possible organized thematically. The study established that libraries were perceived as a place for books and study and library services were essential and important. The library used a variety of strategies such as policy, dedicated children spaces, host reading related activities, the library had a variety of books and other information materials , integrated ICT in children library activities, they engage teachers, parents and children in library activities. However some users were not aware of the existing policy and some strategies used were not attractive to users and others were not aware how the library partners with various stakeholders to provide services. Children were aware of their various information needs majority of them identified education need as the major information need. Other include current awareness, entertainment, personal problem and personal development information need. Further the study found out that children used the information obtained for academic purposes. Library services were accessible to all children however majority of children visited the library weekly. The finding revealed that the library had inadequate information resources. There were various kinds of services/ programs that may be utilized by children, users were satisfied with equipment’s/ facilities such as comfortable chairs and tables, well ventilated and with proper lighting junior section, dedicated librarian who coordinates all children activities and the library services to children available were suitable to support a reading culture. However, there is a percentage of users who were dissatisfied with the services due to inadequate Information materials and computers, book borrowing fee, and unattractive library wall. The researcher recommends that the library to conduct user forum to change the community perception, should involve more stakeholders whenever they have reading related activities for children. Do a benchmarking with other libraries. More programs should be added to stimulate reading for life through attractive, fun library activities and encourage children to frequently visit the library. To capture children’s imagination, library wall should be made more attractive by adding educational pictures and murals. To achieve an effective reading culture, it requires continually funded support from the government. Therefore, the KNLS board should lobby for enhancement of budget allocation from the County governments for an effective library service to children living in rural areas.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)