Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Flag-off of reading for Excellence Campaign in Lagos

Reading for Excellence Campaign was flagged-off at Nigerian Library Association Lagos chapter’s Annual lecture on Monday 21 March, 2011 at Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Victoria Island Lagos.

The programme, chaired by Ag. Director General NIIA, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, was eventful and well attended by dignitaries from all works of life: librarians, primary and secondary school students, and other professionals.

The chairperson, Mrs Abimbola Dada in her welcome address stated that the Flag-off of reading for Excellence Campaign is to align with the launching of the “Bring Back the Book Campaign” by President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR in December 2010. Lagos NLA sees it as a unique and unprecedented opportunity in the book industry when a champion at the highest level of government is in support of a course that has been promoted by the industry stakeholders for many years.

Her Excellency, Mrs Abimbola Fashola, represented by Mrs Afikuyomi flagged-off the Reading for Excellence Campaign with an assurance of support for the campaign and the Nigerian library Association.

The National President of NLA, Prof. L. O. Aina’s lecture titled “Strategies for Promoting Reading Culture in Nigeria” discussed some reasons for poor reading culture in Nigeria. These include among other things; Foundation Palaver, Economic crunch, absence of public library, Parental Indifferent, Low level of research in schools, etc.

As part of approaches to improving the reading culture in Nigeria, Prof. Aina identified involvement of stakeholders in reading promotion campaign: Ministry of Education, Nigerian Library Association (NLA), Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA), Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). etc. He emphathically stated that reading culture will be considerably improved if libraries are well developed.

In conclusion, NLA national president gave the following recommendations:
  • The need to establish a National Commission on Library and Information Centre
  • Broadened the mission of Educational Trust Fund (ETF) should include public library development.
  • Creation of committee on libraries at the nation assemble and senate
  • Encourage wealthy individual and private sector to build and maintain public libraries in major cities in Nigeria.
  • Parents should have a major role to play in improving reading culture
Questions and comments section, coordinated by Prof Iyabo Mabawonku, was great as many participants from the schools, libraries asked questions and made useful contributions in support of improved reading culture in Nigeria.
At the end of the lecture, Mrs Abimbola Dada Lagos NLA chairperson, who is also the Ag. Director, Library and Documentation services NIIA, conducted the tour of exhibition stand and NIIA library.
Ayo Alonge
Publicity Secretary, NLA, Lagos Chapter

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