Public library remains poor man’s university – NLN


The National Library of Nigeria (NLN) has said that the public library remained the poor man’s university, a learning and social place of inclusivity.

Prof. Chinwe Anunobi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Library of Nigeria, stated this in Bauchi on Tuesday at the 6th conference of the National Librarian and Directors, Chairmen of Boards of Public Libraries.

According to her, a public library is also a place where barriers to greater heights and ceilings to everybody’s potential are shattered.

“The condition of public Libraries speaks loudly of the place of knowledge and education in the Nation’s development plan.

“I must emphasize at this point that investment in our public libraries remained a viable means and gateway to achieving 17 SDG goals in our dear country Nigeria.

“However, the National Library can only achieve the mission of enhanced literacy, reading, knowledge provision and information access if we work together with state governments and leaders of public libraries.

“We recognize that literacy is not merely the ability to read and write but a gateway to opportunity, empowerment, and social inclusion all revolving around the 17 SDG goals,” she said.

Anunobi, who is also the National Librarian, NLN, lauded Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state for his generous support and sponsorship of the conference.

Also speaking, the Bauchi state Commissioner for Education, Dr Jamila Dahiru, said that public libraries were more than just repositories of knowledge, saying they were dynamic hubs of learning, community engagement and social transformation.

“They provide inclusive access to information, promote literacy and lifelong learning, support education and empower citizens to participate in the democratic process.

“It is worth noting here that in addition to the State Library and the Azare zonal library, the governor has approved the extension of such libraries in our two other zones, we have over 100 libraries in junior and senior secondary schools in the state,” said the Commissioner.

In his address, governor Mohammed who was represented by the Speaker, Bauchi state House of Assembly, Suleiman Abubakar, said that the Bauchi State Library has achieved remarkable milestones under his administration.

Notably, he said, was the approval of the establishment of two new zonal public libraries in Alkaleri and Ningi, in addition to the existing one in Azare.

According to him, the expansion aimed to promote reading culture and support education, ensuring that the citizens have access to information and resources to improve their lives.