Disturbed by the dearth of funding affecting the growth and development of libraries in the country, the newly appointed National Librarian, Prof. Chinwe Anunobi, has spoken about ongoing plans to solicit fund support from corporate organisations.
She disclosed this during her administration’s inaugural press briefing in Abuja, where she said that strategic engagements were ongoing with relevant authorities, including the Presidency and the Federal Ministry of Education over the completion of the National Library of Nigeria (NLN) Headquarters still under construction.
She said: “Since libraries are social services; we don’t generate funds and the government cannot provide all the requirements, but my administration will explore the opportunities of meeting corporate bodies to see if we can tap into their corporate social responsibilities to see how they can help us.”
Anunobi further raised concerns over the failure of Nigerians to celebrate their indigenous authors as much as they do to foreign authors, as well as the absence of published works by Nigerians in foreign countries.
While reeling out the thematic focus of her administration, she noted that the process of digitizing available collections for quick and easy access, and development of the National Repository of Nigeria (NRN) would receive utmost attention.
She said: “Resources published in this part of the world, precisely Nigeria, are not available beyond this shore. Nigerians do not celebrate their authors but they can go online and read what they see there published by authors from other countries, such as South Africans, which was put there by someone.
“We are going to progress assiduously in digitizing our collections not just to preserve it, but to also make it available to the public in an easier to access mode. Though we are yet to acquire all the required digitization scanners, we have some that we can start with.
“Following the digitization and with some available Nigeriana in electronic format, we will develop and implement the National Repository of Nigeria.”
Other areas of her administration’s focus as listed by Anunobi are virtual library services through the NRN and subscription to global databases, automation of library operation and services, enhancing environments of the 34 functional branch libraries, provision of library services too hard to reach areas, expansion and strengthening of the National Library archive, collaborating with schools to establish and manage libraries to promote reading.