“What’s happening over there?”: a study of the current state of services, challenges, and prospects in Nigerian medical libraries

Biliamin Oladele Popoola, Ngozi Celestina Uzoagba, Nafisa Rabiu


Objective: The authors examined the current state of service delivery, collections, and challenges in Nigerian medical libraries.

Methods: We employed a descriptive mixed method research design using a cross-sectional quantitative survey of Nigerian medical librarians and qualitative interviews with heads of selected Nigerian medical libraries.

Results: Respondents indicated that the US National Library of Medicine classification scheme is most commonly used to organize the resources of medical libraries in Nigeria. Respondents indicated that library users have a high understanding about the library but exhibit low usage of library services. Nigerian medical libraries have social media accounts but use them infrequently. Most medical librarians do not provide specialized services to health care professionals, and monographs are the major information resources in their collections. Most medical librarians in Nigeria have beginner-level knowledge of systematic reviews and evidence-based medicine and rarely organize training for library users.

Conclusion: Our findings show that services offered by medical libraries in Nigeria are still evolving. Identified skill deficits among medical librarians need to be addressed. The country’s library associations and international programs in developing countries should focus on providing continuing education and training of Nigerian medical librarians to enhance their support for medical education and practice in Nigeria.


Libraries, Health Sciences; Medical Libraries; Nigeria

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2020.607


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