National Library project and timely TETFund intervention, by Rahma Oladosu
According to them, knowledge is power and it is impossible to think of seeking knowledge without thinking of books and other research materials. Acquiring the knowledge necessary to cure ignorance comes from study; therefore, we cannot deny the importance of a library be it in a nation, an institution and even in our individual homes.
Typically, a library is a tool for intellectual freedom and economic development; a gateway to political, economic and social happiness and survival. To be more elaborate, a library is a collection of documents, books, or media that are accessible for use and not just for display. A library provides physical (hard copies) or digital (electronic copies) access to materials, and can be a physical location or a virtual space, or both. A library’s collections can include printed materials and other physical resources in many formats such as DVDs, CDs and cassettes as well as access to information, music or other content held in bibliographic databases.
These collections may be organized for use and maintenance by a public body such as government; an institution such as a school or a museum; a society; or an individual. In addition to providing materials, libraries also provide the services of trained librarians who are experts in finding, selecting, circulating and organizing information and in interpreting information needs, navigating and reading. analysis of a very large amount of information with a variety of resources.
As we all know, most library buildings often provide quiet spaces for studying, as well as common areas for group study and collaboration, and may provide public facilities for accessing their electronic resources. ; for example: computers and Internet access.
Going back in time, the National Library of Nigeria was established in the mid-1960s with the enactment of the National Library Act of 1964. In 1970, a new legal precedent was set with the creation of the Library Decree national. The executive order was enacted in part on the advice of the National Library Board which wanted to expand the library to other state capitals to create a network of knowledge repositories. The collections of the National Library of Nigeria are limitless ranging from textbooks, journals, reference collections and government documents among others. Many educators and institutions have advocated for better libraries in Nigeria and the completion of the National Library of Nigeria in Abuja. This noble cause cannot be overstated due to the importance of a functioning National Library of Nigeria in almost every facet of human existence and development.
Nigeria, our dear nation, like many other developing countries, is going through a critical period of educational, economic, political and social development. This established a truism that such development cannot be achieved in isolation. It is therefore felt by many that if Nigeria is to realize its full potential in these key areas of human growth, the development of its national library is imperative.
Unfortunately, all the potentials of the national library in Nigeria are currently hampered due to poor reading culture, insufficient funding, high level of illiteracy, dilapidated facilities and resources, inadequate and non-progressive staff training to keep professionals up to date with current best practices. in the ever-changing information industry, particularly with regard to the use of technology to organize resources and provide outdated services and materials in the library. Despite these challenges, the national library can provide information on improving productivity, hygiene, business activities and promoting democracy and socio-economic issues. On this note, it is good that Nigerian governments are fully aware that the great nations of the world are prospering by utilizing the possibilities of reliable information. It is worth mentioning also that the public library is at the heart of information management by qualified library professionals.
As part of efforts to reverse this trend and determination to significantly advance the development of our “struggling” library, the sole Nigerian administrator of school levy proceeds for tertiary institutions in the country, The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has set aside the first tranche of N15 billion to expedite the start of construction of the National Library Renovation Project.
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With just over 100 days in office as Executive Secretary of the Fund, Arch Sonny Echono said “work on the National Library had been stalled for years due to insufficient funding, with over $50 billion of naira needed for its completion according to the current. assessment requirements, the fund had all plans in place for the building’s completion, adding that it had indicated it was ready to provide the funds to the ministry as soon as the Federal Executive Council approved it. For our part, we have set aside the first tranche of approximately 15 billion already in our coffers to be deployed as soon as the approval of the revised cost is granted by the Federal Executive Council.
While emphasizing the importance of the library, he added, “For us in the higher education system, the library is where learning takes place, including research. The teaching materials and resources that students access to improve their skills are all deposited for archival purposes. The library is usually the center of any academic institution.
There is an urgent need for a functional and well-equipped national library in order to achieve an economically viable Nigeria that bases its policies on informed decision-making. This is mainly due to the fact that libraries are a repository of reliable information which is consulted for reference purposes and other service centers for nation building. TETFund’s decision to set aside N15 billion to relaunch the library is a positive development and a beacon of hope for the coming generation, a hope that they will encounter a library that is conducive, well run and equipped to carry out research and gain knowledge in general.
Rahma Olamide Oladosu is an editor at the journal Economic Confidential