Monday, 24 July 2017

Foundation Wants Govt, Stakeholders to invest more in Public Libraries

Abuja, July 12, 2017(NAN) Youth Initiative for Sustainable Human Development in Africa (YiSHDA), an NGO, has called on Federal Government and stake holders to invest more in public libraries to improve the reading culture in Nigeria.
Mr. Moses Agbara, Director of Communication, YiSHDA, made the call at the Beyond Access Nigeria Project Final Event, on Wednesday, in Abuja.
Yaba said the project `Beyond Access Nigeria’ was aimed at strengthening public libraries by mainstreaming innovative activities for the benefit of national and economic development.
“It is important for the government and stake holders to invest more in public libraries because information is power and relevant to any sustainable developmental drive of any person or community.
“It is also important for public libraries to be equipped with modern technology because they are strategically positioned within communities which make it easier for people to access information online or offline.
“ICT is important because a lot of people do not access books on the shelves anymore, rather they prefer to be connected to the global world and well equipped libraries can serve such purpose,’’ he said.
Agbara said that the 700 public libraries in Nigeria, only a few registered with the Universal Service Provision Fund, (USPF) and adequately equipped with modern technologies and learning equipment.
He stated that stakeholders such as National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) could intervene and provide libraries with modern technology such as computers.
Agbara also called on the private sector such as telecommunication companies, to channel some of their corporate social responsibilities to equipping libraries.
This he said would make the libraries become the information hub and meet the need of the people.
He further called on public libraries to open a face book page, twitter account among others which could be managed by the use of their mobile phones for a wider connectivity. (NAN)

Training to Enhance the Capacity of Public Libraries Ends in Abuja

Abuja July 21, 2017 (NAN) A two-day training aimed at enhancing the capacity of public libraries in Nigeria and empower them to better serve the public ended in Abuja on Friday.

The training was organized by Youth Initiative for Sustainable Human Development in Africa (YISHDA), Women's Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC), Librarians Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN) and with support from the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). IREX is an international organization which helps to build the capacity of libraries across the world through project `Beyond Access Project.’ 
Mary-Grace Reich, Programme Coordinator (IREX) said the project which began in 2015 partnered 70 public libraries across Nigeria.
According to her, the project is aimed at making information available and accessible through modern technology and training services.
She said that the partnership provided 21st-century learning facilities which involved digital skills training and to provide services relating to job search online and offline.
“ Public libraries in Nigeria are not to be seen as a thing of the past but where potentials can be developed through various training, research, and interactive activities.
“This is very important because public libraries are strategically positioned within communities which make it easier for people to access information online or offline.
“Beyond Access Project has made the achievement in almost two years,” Reich said.
Mr. Moses Agbara, Director of Communication, YISHDA, said that libraries had gone beyond reading.
He described library as “a place where skills can be acquired for national and economic development.’’
Agbara said that the project had succeeded in building a network of 70 public libraries across Nigeria.
“Public libraries are always known to be the custodians of information, with a history of addressing people’s information needs.
“It has become necessary that we do not allow them to decay because access to information is not only embedded in books but several other technological innovations such as the internet and skill acquisition.
“A lot of people do not access books on the shelves anymore but prefer to be connected to the global world.
“Access to the global world can make everyone identify solutions to their problems,’’ he said.
Agbara said that public libraries now organize programmes on career development, skill acquisition and writing of formal letters, cover letters and CV’s.
A participant at the training, Alhaji Suleiman Dikko, commended the efforts of YiSHDA and other stakeholders who organized the training.
Dikko, Director, Sokoto State Library Services, described the training as `worthy,’ adding that a lot of public libraries in Nigeria had introduced new services.
He said that managers of public libraries are now aware that people needed information on every aspect of their lives especially for human development.
Another participant, Mrs. Neemat Abdulrahim, Head, City Library, Abuja, said the training enabled her and other participants to acquire knowledge on how to take library beyond the shores of books.

“We are now engaged and involved in synergy among parents, teachers, pupils, the publishers, authors, and library users to work together and make Nigeria a reading nation,’’ Abdulrahim said. (NAN)

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Key to Effective Development In Nigeria through Public Libraries

Libraries in general and public libraries in particular, play an important role in all aspects of societal development especially when viewed against its users, which consist of all categories of people in the society. Public library has been defined variously. Many see it as a place built for the collection of books and other printed resources and the personnel to provide and interpret such resources as required to meet the information, research, educational, recreational, cultural and aesthetic needs of the varied users and it is usually financed with public funds.

Public libraries in Nigeria have gone through a lot since the 1960s but what however remains constant is the inability of the Libraries to adequately satisfy their communities at the various stages of their metamorphosis and this is the consequence of long period of neglect and lurk worm attitude of governments towards public libraries.

Through the Beyond Access Project in Nigeria and with support from IREX, Youth Initiative for Sustainable Human Development in Africa (YiSHDA) is building a network of 36 Public Libraries across the Northern Region of Nigeria with the aim to create a sustainable platform that will help develop public libraries to function effectively and thereby transforming them into a unique hub for national development.

The CEO of YiSHDA, Joseph Emmanuel Yaba emphasized that since Nigeria is in the dawn of a new era for development and change, therefore it is time to lay a foundation by mainstreaming developmental programs/activities through the public libraries for the benefit of the general public because libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination and they open up windows to the world and inspire people to explore, achieve, and contribute to improving their quality of life.

YiSHDA continued partnership with IREX on the Beyond Access Project in Nigeria has created better opportunities and platforms to impact more people and, communities across Nigeria and has also aided YiSHDA to achieve her goals as an organization. As IREX continues to work and partner with YiSHDA we will build more sustainable networks and reach out to areas where we are yet to have impact. We will create new ideas and promote optimal development that will produce equal opportunities and better futures for all people in Nigeria Joseph added.

Joseph also suggested some few recommendations with a view to re-positioning public libraries in Nigeria. That Governments at all levels must ensure the minimum standard required for public libraries to provide effective and efficient services is adhered to and it should cuts across staff, services, structure, equipment, policy and management. The public libraries must as a matter of urgency re-assess the information needs of their community. This is even more imperative now that the library users have developed more needs which are constantly changing. The Governments must be committed towards public library development and also ensure adequate and timely release of funds for the libraries to be comfortable in discharging their responsibilities to the society.

Youth Initiative for Sustainable Human Development in Africa (YiSHDA) is a not-for-profit and non-governmental organization that has carved a niche for itself in the design and implementation of programs targeted at young people with special focus in Education, Development, Empowerment and Mentorship. It is the mission of YiSHDA to advocate for policies and programs that have the potential to impact positively the lives of young people especially in the areas of Education, ICT4Development, Civic Engagement, Business/Enterprise Development and Environmental Sustainability.