Public access to information is a public good. But today, four billion people remain unconnected to the internet. That means half the people in the world are still losing out on the economic, social, and educational opportunities that access can provide. In some places, access through mobiles and other technology has grown so quickly and unevenly that the divide has only deepened between those with access and those without.
As the world finally moved from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), access to information must be a priority for all. In the 21st century, information is a powerful development tool that support communities in a variety of ways and the libraries have a history as trusted community based sources for addressing people’s information need. It has also become a powerful partner to help deliver service that meets personal and economic development.
Youth Initiative for Sustainable Human Development in Africa (YiSHDA) in partnership with Beyond Access a program of International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) and with support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is building a network of 35 public libraries in Northern Nigeria.
Through Beyond Access, YiSHDA works to promote sustainable inclusive access to information and technology for those who need it most. The program is aimed at creating a platform that will help develop public libraries to function effectively and thereby transforming them into a unique hub for national development.
Nigeria is in the dawn of a new era for development and hence, it is time for YiSHDA to lay a foundation for change and development by mainstreaming developmental programs/activities through the public libraries for the benefit of the general public. Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire people to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving their quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better.
The following public libraries are currently participating in the Beyond Access Nigeria Project in the Northern Region of Nigeria:
· Bwari Branch Library, FCT Education Resource Centre
· National Library of Nigeria Area 2, Abuja
· Oguma Branch Library, Kogi State Library Board
· Kogi Library Board HQ, Lokoja
· Okene Library Branch, Okene Local Government, Kogi State
· Kabba Library Branch, Kabba Local Government, Kogi State
· Niger State Library Board, Minna
· National Library of Nigeria Minna, Niger State
· National Library of Nigeria Kaduna, Kaduna State
· National Library of Nigeria, IIorin, Kwara State
· Kwara State Library Board, IIorin, Kwara State
· Nasarawa State Library Board, Lafia
· Keffi Branch Library, Nasarawa Library Board
· National Library of Nigeria Nasarawa, Lafia
· Gombe State Library Board HQ, Gombe State
· Biliri Branch Library, Gombe State
· Plateau State Library Board, Jos
· National Library of Nigeria, Jos, Plateau State
· Bauchi State Library Board, Bauchi State
· Zonal Library Branch Azeri, Bauchi State
· National Library of Nigeria Bauchi, Branch State
· Adamawa State Library Branch HQ, Yola
· Numan Branch Library Adamawa State
· National Library of Nigeria, Jalingo Taraba State
· Kebbi State Library Board HQ, Kebbi State
· Argungu Library Branch Kebbi State
· Zamfara State Library Board, Zamfara State
· Gusau Branch Library, Zamfara State
· National Library of Nigeria, Sokoto State
· State Library Board, Sokoto State
· National Library of Nigeria, Katsina State
· Katsina State Library Board, Katsina State
· Takai Library Branch, Kano State
· Kano State Library Board HQ, Kano State
· National Library of Nigeria, Kano State
Beyond Access…Making Information Work for Everyone!