Marketing library services to the rural population in Africa.
Gibendi, Ruth Nyagano
MetadataShow full item record
ABSTRACT Purpose This paper discusses the strategies a librarian needs to use to market his/her library or information services in rural areas in Africa. Approach The discussion is based entirely on the authors’ experience in providing library/ information services to the rural population in African states supplemented with literature review. Findings It was found that in an effort to provide effective marketing strategies, the information provider will need to understand the kind of environment that characterises the rural areas of Africa. He/she needs to know the demographic features of the population served, the kind of work people do, their information needs and seeking behaviour; and the challenges they experience seeking information. 1 Study limitations Since the discussion is based on the authors’ experience and analysis of literature from previous studies, the study can not be generalised to reflect the situation on the continent. Rather, it is indicative of the situation in sub-Saharan Africa. Practical implications As not much has been researched on marketing of library services to the rural population in Africa, it is hoped that the study will encourage information professionals and scholars to carry out empirical research in this area and in so doing, address the problems that affect provision of information in rural Africa. Originality/value It appears from this discussion that the kind of marketing strategies to be adopted in rural Africa will need to take into account the kind of environment that exists: one has to understand the demographic features of the population to come up with appropriate strategies. Without this, the exercise is likely to be futile. Keywords Africa, Marketing of Libraries, Marketing Strategies, Rural Libraries