FG launches digitization of 57-year-old national library

The Federal Government has begun digitizing the 57-year-old National Library of Nigeria (NLN) and automating its services to the global standard.

The NLN was established by Act No. 6 of 1964, with the National Librarian/Director General of the Library, Professor Chimwe Anunobi, claiming that some of the National Library’s information resources were already weak and deteriorated due to age and use.

Anunobi, who spoke at a briefing to reporters in Abuja on some of his milestones to mark his one year in office, said modest progress had been made over the past year in efforts to reposition the National Library of Nigeria for effective and efficient services.

“My effort so far is seen as building bridges to connect the old and the new, leveraging technology,” she said.

She noted that while digitization activities are ongoing, the development and deployment of the National Repository of Nigeria (NRN) is approximately 70% complete.

The NLN boss said: ‘The National Library is around 57 years old with substantial information resources of sixty years old. Therefore, it is not out of place that some of the information resources are weak and deteriorated due to age and use.

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“To save and preserve them, we are committed to the digitization of this weak heritage aimed at preservation, increased availability and wider accessibility by taking advantage of information and communication technologies.

“We hope to complete and go public by the end of November 2022. The RRN houses in electronic form all Nigerian heritage that has been deposited since its inception to date by authors, printers or publishers, in accordance with the law on legal deposit. .

“We deployed KOHA library automation software for cataloging and classification at the National Library. On April 4, 2022, we launched our Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC), the window to all resources hosted by the National Library of Nigeria.

“This will allow users to virtually check the materials we have and their exact location, without physically searching our shelves,” she said.

Anunobi further added that the NRN would be accessible to all Nigerians and beyond, regardless of status, qualification or location, saying that digitization was not only designed to increase the visibility of Nigerian intellectual heritage, but also to allow the creators of this intellectual heritage to return. on their investments.

She however called on the media, especially news houses, to deposit electronic copies of their publications with the NLN to facilitate the digitization process, explaining that the digitization of archival information would start from the Lagos vault.

She noted that some media houses have complied with this request while NLN is waiting for other media publishing companies to join the initiative.

Anunobi revealed that by leveraging technology, NLN under her leadership designed and developed a fully ready-to-deploy virtual library, which she believed would provide the reading public anywhere in the world with access to operations and services of the National Library.

NLN’s head office is in a rented apartment located in the Central Business District, FCT, Abuja, but the National Librarian told reporters that following the directive from President Muhammadu Buhari, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) would take supported the completion of the abandoned headquarters construction project.

She explained that TETFund has set aside funds and through the Minister of Education will present the estimate for the completion of the project to the President for approval and commencement of work on the site.

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FG launches digitization of 57-year-old national library

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