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Libraries must embrace digital operations, says minister

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The Minister of State for Education, Yusuf Sununu, has said that libraries need to engage in operations and practices that help them adapt to the developing realities brought about by the digital revolution to remain relevant in today’s society.

Sununu also said any meaningful and goal-driven endeavour must incorporate digital operations, and that necessitate a radical shift from the status quo in terms of library access and resource use.

The minister spoke on Wednesday, in Abuja, at the 14th induction and 10th Mandatory Conference of Certified Librarians in Nigeria, with the theme “Libraries in Digital Economy: Creating an Intelligent Society.”

Represented by his Special Assistant, Technical, Dr Clarus Ujan, the minister said, “The theme of the event is apt and a style in giving the fact that digitisation is the new order in this era. Any meaningful and result-driven endeavour must embrace digital operations to be relevant in the contemporary society. Given this, library ought to enroll in operations and practices to come to terms to with emerging realities as prompted by the digital revolution.

“Library services, as a matter of obligation, need to be packaged and delivered in a smart manner that will facilitate the digital transformation of the society, therefore calling for a drastic departure from the old order in terms of access to the library and its resources.

“The Federal Ministry of Education shall remain steadfast in its commitment to providing the enabling environment and facilitating the operation of all departments and agencies under its supervision to ensure the robust growth and development of the education sector in Nigeria.

The minister hoped that the council will continue to grow through the provision of quality services in meeting the needs and expectations of stakeholders, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration of President Bola Tinubu.

“Over the years, the Library Registration Council of Nigeria has kept track of genuine commitment towards enhancing the library and information science sector in Nigeria through conferences and other related capacity-building programmes.

“I urge you in earnest to be civil in conduct and maintain the highest professional standards in your respective endavours,” Sununu added.

The minister further revealed that the Federal Ministry of Education shall guarantee the strong expansion and advancement of Nigeria’s educational system adding that the crop of vibrant young professionals being inducted is no doubt a testimonial of influx of fresh ideas and strategies to be witnessed in the coming years.

Speaking earlier, the council’s Registrar, Jaáfaru Wase, said the council is not relenting in its efforts to ensure that only qualified and professionally certified librarians are employed to man libraries.

While noting that the induction is a significant and core mandate of the LRCN, which is to ensure that only qualified librarians, who have been imparted with the skills and knowledge from reputable and accredited institutions are inducted, he said, “The council intends to maintain its standards and also reinforce compliance and sanctions to the uncertified librarians who are still occupying professional positions.”

Wase noted the decision of the Federal Government to stop funding of professional bodies from December 2024, “I wish to bring to the notice of the recent resolution of the Presidential Committee on Salaries of stopping the funding of the council of some professional bodies in January 2024.

“Given that we are arranging the issue of Bill for an Act of establishment, and we are engaging aggressively in collaboration with government and non-governmental organisations so that we improve the funding of the council.

“This year, we are pleased to announce that 468 librarians will be inducted and certified today. The council has successfully inducted and certified 8,230 librarians so far since the inception of certification in 2005.”

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