Date of this Version
(Uzomba, C. Emeka, 2014), Literacy learning spaces, strategies and opportunities in the information age: the role of libraries in creating and enhancing literacy-friendly environment for national development.
This paper examined literacy learning spaces, strategies and opportunities in the information age, with the view of identifying the roles of libraries in creating and enhancing literacy-friendly environment for national development. The findings of this study should guide both the children and adult learners on how best to adopt new strategies to learning, and also welcome them to various opportunities that literacy provides in our contemporary society. It will also equip the librarians to become part of the learning community and, experts in information management. The study was guided by four objectives and four research questions. A descriptive survey design was adopted in this research, with population of fifty (60) staff selected randomly from three different universities. The instrument used to generate data is questionnaire and the data generated was analyzed using frequency tables and percentages. It was found that there are various strategies of literacy learning available in the information age such as: identifying problems and seeking appropriate solutions, decoding and comprehending information from multiple sources, understanding the meanings and contexts of words and symbol systems, participating in audio-visual conferences, responding to e-mails and working in a virtual environments, etc. The major roles of libraries in creating and enhancing literacy-friendly environment include providing free and equitable access to information for all, identifying user needs and communicating solutions, providing information on community issues such as health, employment, continuing education and local history, and offering relevant and attractive reading materials for all ages and all literacy levels. The major challenges found are inadequate funding of libraries, poor power supply, inadequate professional staff, low knowledge of handling of ICT facilities in the library and inadequate proper training. Nevertheless, a solution was proffered such as adequate funds should be provided by libraries, stable power supply, training workshops, conferences, seminars for the librarians. It was also suggested that libraries should extend their services to the rural and disadvantaged communities, and also be trained on good handling of information technologies.