An investigation of reading habits in public libraries within Nairobi
Mikwa, Paul Matombi
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This study set out to examine the state of readership in the public libraries within Nairobi. The problem of the study was to investigate the reading habits within Nairobi area. The method used in the gathering of data was mainly through questionnaire, though some interviews were administered to the librarians. The study found that the readership in Kenya is quite discouraging. The public libraries are largely under utilized with most of the users being students. The other group which uses the library services are the workers undertaking proficiency test. It was discovered that the major documents used in the libraries are the newspapers and magazines. In essence public libraries are the people's university and therefore should be used by all. The study identified several obstacles, which hinders the reading. They included: outdate books, lack of time, traveling expenses, lack of enough space in the libraries, lack of trained personnel to organise the information properly and assist the users among other things. The research has recommended several solutions to the already identified problems with a view of making the library a suitable place to visit and books an appropriate companion. These include: changing the opening hours, training of more personnel, improving the library stock, conducting user education and surveys among other things.