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Abstract

The paper tries to explore social implications of ICTs, their positive impacts and potential dangers. In addition, the study examines some important imperative factors that sustain favourable social implications as well as critical factors that pander to unfavourable social implications of ICTs. Descriptive survey method was adopted. Population consisted of 88 academic librarians who are working in four Federal University libraries in South East Nigeria. A 59-item structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The instrument was face validated and the reliability of the instrument was established through Cronbach Alpha reliability coefficient. Eighty-eight copies of the questionnaire were delivered to respondents and eighty-five copies were completely filled and returned. The data collected were analyzed using mean scores and percentages. The paper found out that core factors of social implications of ICTs were the Internet and other ICTs which facilitate development in developing countries and aid propagation of indigenous knowledge. It was found that ICTs do not induce unemployment in developing countries, nor promote social exclusion. They neither aid mass destruction of property nor induce organizational stress. It was also found that gender inequality and ethnicity/racism do not constitute challenges that affect social implications Other findings showed that while quest for current information was the greatest factor which could facilitate favourable social implications of ICTs, lack of Internet skills was the greatest challenge which could affect social implications of ICTs. It was also identified that the greatest strategy for enhancing social implications of ICTs would be by posting ICT compliant teachers to schools. Some of the practical implications of the paper were that favourable social implications of ICTs could be hampered by factors which focus on domains purported to create digital divide, cultural neo-colonialism, popularization of pornography and breakdown of law and order. The value of this paper lies in the identification of core factors of social implications of ICTs as well as rebuttal of the impressions that ICTs induce mass unemployment in developing countries, promote social exclusion, cause mass destruction of property and induce organizational stress. Innovative strategies for enhancing favourable social implications of ICTs have also been articulated

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