The National Librarian, Prof. Chinwe Anunobi, says that in a bid to enhance reading culture among Nigerians, efforts are being made to resuscitate the implementation of library hour in schools.
Anunobi was speaking in Abuja on Thursday during a news conference on scorecard of her stewardship in the last two years in office.
Anunobi was appointed the National Librarian/Chief Executive Officer of the National Library in September 2021 and today marks her two years in office.
She said that a memo had been sent to the federal ministry of education to consider the implementation of reading culture as a policy.
“The Act establishing the National Library mandates it only to give advice on library development to any agency of the federation or state that calls on her thereby denying her the power to supervise or direct on library development or use.
“This hinders the capacity of the National Library to ensure that school libraries are functional.
“However, within this period, branches are directed to visit schools and sensitise them on the need for library use and reading by students.
“It is saddening to note that library hour is no longer implemented in many schools.To this end, efforts is being made to resuscitate implementation of library hour in schools,” he said.
The national librarian also said that to strengthen the state -of-the-art national repository, digital equipment has been deployed to protect vulnerable resources in its Lagos strongroom.
According to her, over 1,000 records including monographs, journals, documents and other resources had been digitised.
She added that a total number of 5,251,472 titles in 13,964,424 volumes of materials had been recorded as at August 2023.
Anunobi further said that 43 book clubs and 20 literacy centres were created to boost the reading culture of Nigerians and encourage learning respectively.
“National Library of Nigeria without walls” has been strengthened as a gateway to all our physical and technology driven services, current awareness window for all newly acquired resources (Nigeriana and Foreign).
“We have links to Open Access databases, books, reference materials and top Nigerian newspapers- 23 links to Open Access Book databases, 30 Open Access Reference Material databases, 113 links to open access journals, 432 links to monographs e.t.c.
“Our automated cataloguing has been strengthened.
“Rather that the traditional use of print cataloguing tools with its attendant challenges, processing of acquired 4,688 volumes and legally deposited 53,360 volumes of resources are easily processed electronically as a result of our online cataloguing tools,” she added.
She also explained that within the year under review, over 17,001 International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) and 1,000 International Serial Numbers (ISSN) were issued to publishers and printers.
She said with the use of technology, over 1767 resources had been enabled by Catalogue in Publication (CIP) during request for ISBN.
She commended the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, for setting in motion mechanism for the completion of the national library building in Abuja.