The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), in partnership with the National Library of Nigeria, unveiled an e-library powered by artificial intelligence during the association’s 42nd annual convention.
The president of the association, Camillus Ukah, in his welcome address, highlighted the achievements of the association and reflected on the dedication and commitment of passionate writers and literary scholars.
He encouraged Nigerian youth to embrace reading and writing towards shaping the future of the nation.
He said: “We have worked tirelessly to cultivate a love for reading and writing among the youth because we recognise the vital role that creativity plays in shaping the future of our nation. Together, we have empowered young minds to find their voices, embrace their identities, and contribute to the rich literary tapestry of Nigeria.”
Speaking at the event, Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, reiterated the importance of Nigeria’s cultural heritage and the literary works on the society. He described ANA as indispensable and commended the association’s consistency in supporting the country’s education system.
Mr Mamman was represented by a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Education, Folake Olatunji-Davids.
“It is important to note that these literary works, which we have as early as the 19th century, have contributed immensely to preserving the culture and tradition of the Nigerian society, as well as the travail of political challenges and problems of the nation,” the minister said.
On electronic publications
Chinwe Anunobi, Nigeria’s National Librarian and Chief Executive Officer, unveiled an innovation tagged BoldScholar, described as a transformative database, “that is set to revolutionise the National Library’s approach to collecting and preserving information resources in Nigeria.”
“We have been doing it religiously in the traditional format, but with a portion of ICT, it becomes very difficult for us to gather resources that are published in electronic format. Initially, we didn’t have any choice but to submit CDs and flash drives for us. However, we discovered that those that were published directly online did not match electronic publications, and it became difficult for us to crawl them or to get them into the memory of the country,” Mrs Anunobi, a professor, said.
She further noted that the partnership of the national library with Boldscholar is a win-win situation that will enable the national library to collect and archive all electronic resources published in Nigeria, “making authors and readers accessible”.
How Boldscholar Works
Chukwuemeka Godswill, the founder of BoldScholar, explained that the database aims to create visibility for Nigerian literature, providing authors with a global stage and readers with affordable access to a treasure trove of literary works.
“A good number of Nigerian authors write books in their shops, but this time people are going to see not just within the nation but beyond this country. The readers are also going to begin to see content coming from Nigeria. With this database, Nigerians, especially students, will begin to see resources coming from indigenous society,” he said.
He also added that the platform is designed for affordability, which he noted will allow users to pay a nominal fee of N1,000 to access a vast library of books. He said the approach will help students save money and expand their access to educational resources.
“We are working with the National Library of Nigeria on this project because we cannot bring up people’s books that we’re not authorised to. So the author is the one who would add the book himself. When they upload their books, people will see what to read on the platform,’ Mr Godswill said.
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