Exploring Public Libraries as Partners in the Fight Against Youth Radicalization: A Case Study of the Macmillan Public Library
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The world has experienced an escalation of senseless violence orchestrated by radicalized youth on innocent people. The library as a provider of information is assumed to have a role to play in the fight against youth radicalization. The aim of this study was to explore public libraries as partners in the fight against youth radicalization with focus on the MacMillan public library in Nairobi. The objectives of the study were to assess information materials collected by public libraries, examine strategies used by public libraries, evaluate potential of public libraries, establish program support by stake holders in public libraries all in relevance to the fight against youth radicalization, and to make recommendations and suggest more possible ways that public libraries can actively participate in, as partners with other focused initiatives in the fight. The study adopted a mixed method of quantitative and qualitative research design. The population of study was 620 comprising users and staff in the MacMillan public library with a sample size of 86 respondents. Data was collected using appropriate tools based on the research design while suitable data analysis and presentation methods were applied. The study established that public libraries acquire information materials covering youth radicalization albeit inadequately and need to prioritize it. It also established that public libraries are ideal fora for youth sensitization but have very minimal programs and strategies aimed at fighting youth radicalization. Recommendations on how the library can more actively participate were made based on the findings. Radicalization and terrorism affect each one of us in one way or another. The findings enable other interested parties to realize that everyone and every institution can contribute in their respective capacities to the fight against youth radicalization.