Libraries as agents for development: The potential role of Egyptian rural public libraries towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals based on the UN 2030 Agenda

Essam Mansour
  • Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, September 2019, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0961000619872064

Libraries as agents for development:

What is it about?

The key purpose of this study is to investigate the potential role of Egyptian rural public libraries, being one of the social agents for development, towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals according to the United Nations Agenda for 2030. To meet the objectives and questions of the study, a multi-faceted research methodology was adopted and conducted in the period from September to November 2017. The study used a qualitative approach in terms of personal interview, discussion and observations of group meetings, and examination of documents to investigate the implementation of community development programmemes and services in 34 rural public libraries representing the four main administrative divisions comprising Egypt. The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals have been discussed with ways in which Egyptian rural public libraries can include and meet them. Challenges facing libraries in the provision of information (poor infrastructure, inappropriate collections and related facilities and services, high levels of illiteracy, lack of funding and cooperation between related agencies, inappropriate training of library and information professionals, lack of studies and surveys, as well as analyses of information needs of rural communities) have also been emphasized. This study concluded that Egyptian rural public libraries have struggled to be part of the United Nations Agenda for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. They have tried as much as possible to integrate and adapt to the surrounding community in light of the common economic, political and social factors and conditions. Despite these challenges, these libraries showed a good response that is characterized as somewhat positive, though not sufficient, toward the achievement of these goals.

Why is it important?

The key purpose of this study is to investigate the potential role of Egyptian rural public libraries as social agents for development, toward the attainment of SDGs according to the UN 2030 Agenda. The study will explore library and information practitioners’ perceptions on areas of priorities, strategies to be embraced toward the accomplishment of the SGDs, as well as potential challenges linked to them. The findings of this study may help public and professional experts to fully understand their key roles in contributing toward achieving the SDGs.

Perspectives

Professor Essam Mansour
South Valley Univeristy (SVU)

Libraries are truly supposed to occupy their decent and prestigious position as leading educational organizations in society, especially with regard to various development issues. These libraries have a huge role to play in development programmemes, particularly at the rural level. Thus, this study attempted to explore the potential role of Egyptian rural public libraries towards the attainment of SDGs based on the UN 2030 Agenda.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0961000619872064

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Essam Mansour