Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Document Type



The study is a survey on the inmates of correctional centres information desires and accessibility: Librarians and Libraries as facilitators. The study was guided by five objectives and research questions respectively as well as three null hypotheses. The research design adopted was a descriptive survey while the population of the study is all the correctional centres inmates in Nigeria. Due to the challenge of accessibility, the study was limited to Southeast Nigeria in which through purposive sampling techniques, 354 inmates and 20 staff were selected from the seven correctional centres that have libraries in the zone. The sampled population for the study includes 70 female inmates and 284 male inmates randomly selected. A structured questionnaire was used to get data from the centres’ staff while Focus Group Discussion guide was used to elicit data from the inmates. Observation guide was used to get data on the library and information resources and services available for the inmates and documentary sources from the Nigerian correctional service were also used to get data about the inmates. To test the reliability of the questionnaire, Internal Consistency reliability using the Cronbach Alpha method was used. Frequency and mean scores were used to analyze data from the questionnaire while recorded Focus Group Discussion data was analyzed qualitatively. Data from the observation schedule was analyzed quantitatively using a standard benchmark for correctional centres’ libraries and the hypotheses were tested using Chi-Square (X²) test. Major findings showed that the correctional centres inmates highly desire information on education, spiritual growth, health; legal issues, vocational, recreational and finance as well as emotional growth. Findings from observation showed that the varieties of library and information materials that are provided are grossly inadequate considering the population of inmates. Apart of legal and spiritual information desires that are being met to some extent; all the other information desires are not met as the resources are not accessible and this is the area that libraries and librarians are highly needed as information custodians and facilitators. Poor funding, uncomfortable nature of correctional centres, policies, censorship, staffing problems, inadequate reading accommodation, lack of standard library building are all found to cause setbacks in the provision of information resources and services to meet the inmates’ information desires. It is based on the above findings that recommendations were made as to enhancing information provision and making them accessible to inmates.