The Nigerian Library Association, Oyo State chapter, at the weekend, appealed to the Oyo State Government to consider the meaningful contributions of the association to the state and the society at large, and assist it in achieving its laudable goals.
NLA made the request through its chairman, Mr Adekoya Osunkoya, during the National Library Week, Conference and Annual General Meeting of the association themed ‘Library and Information Services During and After COVID-19 Pandemic,’ which held at the National Library of Nigeria, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
Osunkoya, who said the association is committed to reviving the reading culture among Nigerians, appealed to the government to support its cause, adding that, “it may interest you to know that the Nigerian Library Association is the only professional association that does not have her own permanent building as secretariat and does not have a bus for its use.
“We implore our amiable governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, to come to our aid in these aspects. We need his help in the allocation of a piece of land and in getting a bus. We can be supported with donations of physical facilities like building and donation of a bus to ease our movement around the state,” Osunkoya stated.
The NLA chairman pointed out that the association among other things provides support in the development and maintenance of standard for education and certification of librarians, archivists, and information scientists, as well as pursuing the establishment and implementation of standard policies for libraries in Nigeria.
“The Nigerian Library Association is a professional body of librarians, archivists and information scientists in Oyo State and Nigeria at large. It is an Association that aims at pursuing the establishment and development of libraries, information and resource centres, especially in public, community and school environments,” he said.
Speaking on the theme of this year’s National Library Week, Osunkoya said the COVID-19 “pandemic is dramatically impacting livelihoods, particularly because 70 per cent of people in Africa, especially in Nigeria are working in the informal sector. With a slow-down in economic growth related to COVID-19, librarians are encouraging a context-specific, risk-based approach, with adjustments to facilitate physical distancing, improve access to handwashing facilities, strengthen hygiene practices, and promote the use of masks over the mouth and nose in the library.”
He reiterated that librarians are part of a door-to-door campaign, sharing information on COVID-19 and activities like this help people to understand how they can better protect themselves and others, as well as combating misinformation around the pandemic.
Commenting on some of the activities of the association in the past years, he said, “we have successfully accomplished the following:
Organising seminars and conferences for our members to broaden their knowledge and to keep them abreast of current information in the profession; webinar conference was organised for our members in September, 2020 on how to effectively render library services during and after COVID-19 Pandemic.”
He emphasised that despite the association’s modest achievements, it still seeks the support of well meaning individuals and the state government.