Posted to the Ethnos Project by on January 23rd, 2015

Nigerians interact well with their natural environment, culminating in the accumulation of diverse experiences. These experiences result in a body of indigenous knowledge which though unique to a given society or culture, forms part of the information needed by researchers. In spite of the place of indigenous knowledge in enriching academic libraries, its documentation and preservation for posterity have hitherto posed tremendous challenges. However, the emergence of information and communication technology (ICT) has provided opportunities for librarians to interact with their host and other communities in a bid to document various indigenous information that may be of use to the library.

This paper discusses various indigenous knowledge practices in Nigeria such as language, medicine, agriculture, family, marriage and highlights the benefits of indigenous knowledge which include contributions to community development, exchange of cultural information, recognition of indigenous community in the global setting, etc. The paper also discusses various ICT facilities required in documentation and preservation of indigenous knowledge like recorder, photographic camera, video camera, tapes, films, CDs, computer etc. Problems hindering the use of ICT which are discussed include lack of fund, power failure and attitude of indigenous communities and distortion of information among others. For the purpose of improvement, the paper recommends collaboration with multinational organizations and donor agencies for the purpose of fund generation, librarians’ skill acquisition, respect of indigenous copyright issues, and persuading the custodians of indigenous information on the need to release information.

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