Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has charged well meaning Nigerians to take up the setting up of libraries as an individual responsibility in other to promote the culture of reading and rescue library reading culture from going into extinction.
He gave the charge while delivering a paper titled ‘Bring Back the Library’, at the 53rd National Conference of the Nigeria Library Association, held at WOCDIF Events centre, Osogbo, on Tuesday Aregbesola who described Library as the heart of every institution, advised that every society must see the maintenance of library as necessary.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the state of library in Nigeria, Aregbesola said that “only very few schools have functional libraries in Nigeria, while we can hardly find newspapers or magazines in some universities library.”
He added that, “library is the heart of every institution. During my battle to reclaim my mandate, library served as bail out for me and that is why library has a special place in my heart.
“Apart from personal information that I benefited in library, I used library for intellectual development.
The Governor however disclosed that his administration is planning a new programme that would afford the students opportunity to Physical Laboratory Process and procedure. He said the programme would be installed in the Tablet of Knowledge distributed to Secondary school students in the state.
“Tablet of Knowledge (Opon Imo) is a mobile library that our students use in Osun and it contains all recommended books including past questions on all subjects.
“We are developing a new programme in the Tablet of Knowledge that wil have Physical Laboratory Process and procedures.
He condemned Boko Haram for claiming to be fighting for Islam, adding that the history of library was traced to the Islamic countries.
“It has now become imperative for Federal and State government to develop a synergy that will bring back the libraries,” he stated.
Earlier in his address, President, Nigeria Library Association, Rilwanu Abdulsalami, lauded Governor Aregbesola for his library inclusive education programme, saying the introduction of Opon Imon has showed the love of Governor to education.
He said, “the educational programme of Osun government which includes development of libraries is worth mentioning and a welcome development which is also commendable.
Speaking on the theme “Sustainable Nigerian Libraries: Agents of Access to Information and Development, Abdulsalami, said information is now the focus in service delivery through several platforms.
“The new government President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR came with the change Agenda. I am optimistic that this agenda would transcend across the boundaries of Ministries, departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well of that of various profession Associations.