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The Role of Libraries in HIV/AIDS Information Dissemination in Sub-Saharan Africa

“This report has three central purposes:

1) To provide a broad overview of libraries in Sub-Saharan Africa that disseminate HIV/AIDS information, including identifying the numbers and types of libraries as well as understanding the nature of libraries within the African context.

2) To explore the activities of libraries in HIV/AIDS information dissemination, particularly those that target pre-adolescents and adolescents. A summary and categorization of those activities are reported, along with a summary of observed patterns and trends found in the literature.

3) To identify the best practices of those activities with the express purpose of exploring whether they can be replicated in other environments, such as other regions or countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.


In order to examine the activities of libraries and information professionals in their fight against HIV/AIDS, it is necessary to understand the nature of library within the African context.


This report:

1) Examines the challenges for information practices within a traditionally oral society, with multiple languages and varying cultures

2) Describes the historical development of libraries in Africa from its colonial roots to the current training and practice of its librarians

3) Presents a statistical examination of the numbers and types of library institutions throughout the continent with attention to the types of services offered and the nature of their collections and staff

4) Examines the relationship between information and HIV/AIDS and provides an overview of the general structure of libraries or alternative information organizations that serve the information needs of local communities

5) Describes the common characteristics of these information-related organizations.” (p.vii-viii)