Roles, Responsibilities, Problems and Prospects of Medical Libraries toward Health Information Provision in Nigeria

Ugwuona simeon S.C., Eze J. U., Oyovwevotu L., (doi: 10.23953/cloud.ijalis.216)


A United Nation’s Administrative Committee has found that technology inequities and knowledge gap caused by misdistribution of information resources and poor access to information and its related opportunities in less developed nations has created a wide gap between the less developed and the other countries of the world. The gap so created has led to information poverty in many countries and Nigeria in particular which is besieged with the problem of poor access to health information. This paper is focused on establishing the expected roles and responsibilities as well as the problems and prospects of medical libraries in the Nigerian state vis a vis their capabilities in information services which could upscale the health literacy level of an ordinary rural Nigerian. The paper adopted a simple methodology of literature review to provide answers to the topic. The aim was to provide some leverage to accessing health information via good use of medical library services and resources in a country highly devastated by hunger, pandemic diseases and social ailments. It discovered that the state of health literacy in the country was poor even when medical libraries need to influence knowledge translation, foster communication and interpretation of health information, provide platforms for standards, encourage support for free access to information amongst others. A number of problems affecting performance of these roles like lack of support specialists, poor inventive thinking and cost of resources, inactive policies and language barrier were discussed. Areas of future potentials were given as the paper concluded that weaknesses noticed could be turned around into areas of strength for the medical libraries.


Health Information Gap; Information Poverty; Information Service; Library-Medical

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