Information Needs of Prisoners and Resources Provision through the Prison Library in South East Zone of Nigeria.


The purpose of this work was to examine the information needs of prisoners and resources provision through the prison library in South-east Nigeria.

Six research questions and three (3) null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.

The research design adopted for the study was a descriptive surveys. The population of the study comprised all the prisoners in South-East Nigeria.

Purposive sampling was used to get the prisons that have libraries in the South-East zone and seven prisons were used for the study.

Seven hundred and eight (708) prisoners and fourteen (14) welfare/library workers from the seven prisons that have libraries in South-east geopolitical zone were used as prisoners sample and staff sample for the study.

While all the female prisoners were sampled due to their small number (141), simple random sampling was used to get the male prisoners (567).

A structured questionnaire was used to get data from prison workers while Focus Group Discussion guide was used to elicit data from the prisoners.

Observation guide was used to get data on the library and information resources and services available for the prisoners and documentary sources from the Nigerian prison service were also used to get data about the prisoners.

The instruments were face-validated by three senior lecturers in the Department of Library and Information Science and Faculty of Education.

A pilot study was carried out using five (5) prison workers in Aba prison and to test the reliability of the questionnaire, Internal Consistency reliability using the Cronbach’s 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 prison libraries and the hypotheses were tested using Chi-Square (X²) test.

Major findings showed that the prisoners are very highly in need of educational information; information for spiritual growth and better life style; on health; on legal issues, vocational, recreational and financial information and for emotional growth.

Findings from observation showed that the varieties of library and information materials that are provided are grossly inadequate considering the population of prisoners.


Background Of Study

The flow of information has made the world today a global village and we are said to be in the information age.

This new age is a revolutionary period whose impact is far surpassing that of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions (Anyakoha, 2005).

Information, according to International Federation of Library Association and Institutions, (IFLA) (2001), is very important in the development of an individual and of the society.

Information is seen as a major resource in human development as access to it could improve knowledge.

Iloeje (2001) stressed that information is the heart of the world’s development. Likewise, information is indispensable in the development and advancement of all aspects of human endeavour.

Information is an important tool used in the realization of any objective set by individuals (Igbeka and Atinmo, 2002).

Thus, acquiring and using information are both important activities. Information has become a primary strategic resource that is transforming the lives of many in the world today.

The prisoners are not left out as they too need information for day to day living; thus, information is one thing that no one in any society can do without (Anyakoha, 2005).

Information could be described as man’s accumulated knowledge in all subjects, all forms and all sources which could aid its users to make rational decisions.

Losee (1998) further defined information in what was called a common way as one or more statements or facts that are received by a human and that have some form of worth to the recipient.


Achebe. N. E. (ed.) (2008). Library and information literacy for higher institutions. Enugu: Nigerian Library Association.

Agomoh, U & Ogbozor, E (2006). Post Colonial reform of Nigeria prison: Issues and challenges. Paper presented at the 11th International Conference on Penal Abolition (ICOPA XI).

Ajogwu, M. (2005). The role of Non-governmental Organisations, (NGOs) in providing library and information services to two disadvantaged groups – the blind and the prisoners in Nigeria. Unpublished Masters Degree Project of the University of Nigeria, Department of Library and Information Science.

Albertson, M. (2001). A second chance for a family’s survival: The Indiana State Library’s Read-To-Me program. Indiana Libraries, 20 (2), 27-28.

American Library Association, ALA (2008). Library standards for adult correctional institutions. Retrieved on December  9, 2008, from

Amnesty International (2008).  Prisoners’  rights  systematically  flouted.  London:  Amnesty International.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *