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)