Lack of funds hampers library development in Nigeria — Chief Librarian

A library used to illustrate the story

The books in libraries are outdated and the infrastructure is bad, librarian speaks about the condition of libraries in Nigeria

The lack of funds hampers the provision of modern libraries in the country, the Chief Librarian of the National Mathematical Centre, Abuja, James Daniel, has said.

Mr. Daniel said on Monday in an interview that poor funding had also slowed the provision of current literature in the e-library scheme in most libraries.

He said that the non-availability of up-to-date library materials had also contributed in making people to lose interest in libraries.

“The books there are not current ones and the infrastructure is also bad,” Mr. Daniel said.

He said that a lack of funds to finance major projects in the nation’s libraries is frustrating growth and development, thereby, hampering a good reading culture.

“Our problem is funding. We do not have sufficient funds. If we had funds, it will be so easy to carry out our work and even deploy the e-library because it is the key to information.”

The chief librarian said the sector currently needed people who could assist libraries to attain world standards.

“What we are trying to do is to form a body of a group of librarians who will contribute money to place orders for current journals which can be in e-form or hard cover,” he said.

He said that Africa needs to fashion out ways of getting its own philanthropists who would invest money in the library and information sector. He called on organisations, individuals, international partners and groups to invest in the library and information sectors.

Mr. Daniel, who is the President of the West African Library Association, said there is a need for Nigerians to devise means of investing in the sector to help enhance reading culture in the country.

He said that some librarians are planning to bring innovations into the sector to improve and encourage people to keep pace with modern technology.

“That is why we can talk about e-library, e-books and virtual library. We are also trying to package materials into the social media format.

“All these require money and without proper funding of the libraries, how will we achieve a world-class library that will compete with the rest in terms of global best practice?” he asked.


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