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Provision of Business Information Services by Public Libraries to Small- Scale Business Enterprises

Paul Maku Gichohi, Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha, Frankwell Dulle

Abstract


This study explored the business information services offered to small-scale business enterprises (SBEs) by public libraries in Meru County, Kenya. Public libraries are community information centres, hence well-placed to serve the small-scale business community. A quantitative approach and survey research design were adopted. Data were collected from 296 SBE traders and 20 staff members from three public libraries in Meru County using well-structured questionnaires and interviews. Quantitative data were analysed with the help of SPSS software while a thematic analysis was used on qualitative data. The provision of business information services to SBEs in public libraries was in a desolate state owing to inadequate business collections, the lack of sufficient information and communications technology (ICT) facilities, poor awareness of business information services, a poor reading culture, and weak collaborations of public libraries with stakeholders. There is an indispensable need to establish insightful and holistic business information services at public libraries and to institute measures that would foster their utilisation by SBEs. This can be achieved by elevating library facilities, enhancing outreach programmes, ensuring adequate funding, engaging knowledgeable business services librarians, embracing ICT in service delivery, and by having an appropriate policy framework.


Keywords


business information; information for development; business information services; public libraries; small-scale business enterprises; services to SMEs

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25159/0027-2639/2945

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