Some students of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, (AE-FUNAI) have expressed displeasure over the state of the university’s library.
Some of the students hinged their stance on the limited space and unavailability of books in the library.
Some of them who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES recently said there are not enough desks in the library as the few available ones are easily taken up by other students. This, they said, results in overcrowding where students have to jostle for space, and sometimes even have to sit on the floor to read their books.
Nnenna Odefa, a 300 level student of the Political Science department, complained about the limited space in the library which leaves the library keepers with no better option than to ask students to leave their bags outside before entering the library.
She expressed the fear that unscrupulous individuals might use the opportunity to steal from students since library personnel cannot watch from their positions.
“Because there is not enough room in the library, students are asked to keep their bags outside. Library keepers fear that students might steal books from the shelves if they are allowed to go in with their bags. But all these fears would have been unnecessary if the library was large enough, or better still if the school authority had provided us with lockers to lock our bags before entering,” she said.
These reporters’ findings show that in a school of about 10,000 students, only about 136 desks are available in the library.
Ms Odefar also said the library was filled with what she termed ‘outdated textbooks’ and largely ‘European literature.’
She said, “We need more African works. We are Africans, and charity begins at home. It is not as if there are not enough African authors writing. We have only chosen to ignore them simply because we don’t believe in them. All that has got to change.”
A 300 level Mass Communication student, Abang Glory, said there are not enough Mass Communication texts in the school library. She said she often visited the library during exams only to find that there was little or no provision for her programme of study. This, Ms Abang said, gave her a feeling of exclusion.
“It gives me the feeling that something is wrong somewhere, that some people are being alienated from the university community,” she said.
Another student, Nwojo Evylin of the Accountancy department, complained that students are being dismissed too early from the library unlike before. She stated that formerly, people could study in the library from nine o’clock in the morning till eight in the night but currently, students are being sent home as soon it is 3:30 p.m or 4:00 p.m. This, she said, negatively affects the academic performance of students.
In reaction, the school management has pleaded with the students to be patient as the construction of a bigger, more conducive and accommodating library is in progress and will be completed before December this year.
“We are assuring you that before December, the building of the new library will be completed. And we ensure that we will serve you better,” Christiana Akidi, the university’s Librarian said.
The school’s Public Relations officer, Iyke Elom, on his part refuted the allegation by some students that there are not enough books in the library.
“Our library is adequately stocked with both e-books and hard copies. So, it is a lie that the library is not well-stocked,” he said.
At the start of every session, students are mandated by the school management to pay N300 as a levy for library services. Some students who spoke with this newspaper questioned how the money is being used.
Mr Elom, in reaction, said library services are funded by the university, and not by the yearly N300 paid by the students. “Library services are funded by the university. Books are bought by the university. So the amount paid by students are used to augment the funds from the university,” he said.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...