The Federal Government has concluded plans to commence a review of the Library and Information Science (LIS) curriculum in Nigerian universities.
This is part of efforts to equip library science graduates with the competences required to function effectively in the information age, especially in the management of all categories of libraries.
Registrar of the Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN), Dr.
Victoria Okojie, who made this known at the induction ceremony of registered librarians in Nigeria, held at the NUC auditorium, Abuja recently, said the review is a way of developing the library and information science sector, which is still evolving in the country. She said the state of some libraries in the country leaves much to be desired and that the entire LIS sector requires a turn around.
“Our plan is to ensure that by the end of 2013, we will partner the National Universities Commission (NUC) to review the LIS curriculum in Nigeria to bring it in tandem with global best practices that will equip the graduates with the requisite skills to function in the 21st century.”
This she said will involve organising a workshop for heads of the 26 NUC approved library schools, practising librarians, students and other stakeholders to discuss the key issues in the sector and agree on a plan to transform the education and training of librarians.
Okojie said the first step in achieving this will involve obtaining status report from each library school to identify the trends and the gaps; then looking at the courses they offer and their relevance to modern day LIS practise.
“It is really x-raying the curriculum on ground to see how to deliver better practice. At the end of day, we will come up with a curriculum that has a robust menu of courses that schools can draw from. As we all know, the universities are autonomous, but the curriculum will be rich enough for institutions to really want to use it.”
She added that the review would address issues like competences required; facilities and standards required for practising librarianship in Nigeria. She said LRCN is aware that universities are in the process of reviewing their programmes, but that a sector-wide input would deliver a richer curriculum.
“We want to infuse ICT and entrepreneurial studies into the LIS curriculum. We will work with NUC to enrich their benchmarks for accreditation.”
In her remarks, Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, said the move is a step in the right direction to equip the country with the right calibre of people with the requisite manpower to propel the educational and research institutions to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
She said librarianship would not be relevant in the 21st
century if ICT is not infused into its practises. She urged the newly inducted librarians to keep abreast with current trends in the profession.
Foundation Equips 200 Libraries with 8,000 Books
The libraries of 200 tertiary institutions and other learning centres in the country are now 40 books richer, following the recent donation of a total of 8,000 books by Prof. Green Nwankwo, under the aegis of the Prof. Green Onyekaba Nwankwo Foundation.
The books on banking, finance, economic development, politics, governance, management and other social sciences, were all published by Nwankwo, the founding Head, Department of Finance and former Dean, Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
Presenting the books to the beneficiaries at a ceremony in Lagos, the author said the donation was in response to the unacceptable and distressing situation in the country. “As we all know, our blessed country is passing through a very rough and trying period politically, economically, educationally and socially and this calls for contributions from all and sundry in whatever form, and for all hands to be on deck to salvage the situation.
“The donation programme is my humble contribution to the above, particularly in response to the well known parlous situation of academic resources in our tertiary institutions. The donation is therefore geared towards bridging the wide supply gaps in this sector.”
He also said the donation was a way of demonstrating accountability and stewardship to his professional world of finance and academics, which was thrust on him by his village and the larger Nigerian society since 1960. “I was sent off to the UK for further studies with a penholder and a nib.”
Nwankwo said on his return to the country in 1972 to set up the Department of Finance in UNILAG with the gracious endowment from the United Bank for Africa (UBA) plc, he met a daunting challenge- the paucity and virtual lack of indigenous literature on banking and finance in Nigeria.
“The challenge was even more compelling, nauseating and intolerable when the Federal Military Government had just then in 1972, passed the Indigenous Enterprises Promotion Decree to usher in the indigenisation of the commanding heights of the economy. I considered that the most important commanding heights of the economy is our literature and the documentation of our institutions and environment to produce indigenous literature and texts for students, scholars, policy makers and practitioners.”
According to him, apart from over one hundred articles and papers in learned academic, professional, banking and finance journals in the areas of British Banking, Banking in Developing Countries, Banking in Nigeria, Government and Economic Governance in Nigeria, he has authored about 26 books within his over 52 years in his career.
Chairman of the occasion and former Minister of Information, Prof. Walter Ofonagoro, commended the donor for his efforts to revive reading culture in the country.
He attributed the poor performance of students in the country to the shortage of books and poorly equipped libraries, saying that during his secondary school days, “we were able to do well because we had access to books in first class public libraries. That enhanced our performance in both national and international examinations.”
Registrar of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Dr. Uju Ogubunka, who described the donor as a well respected man academically, professionally and even traditionally, said the gesture was an evidence of his philanthropy and worthwhile academic investment. He urged students to make the best use of the materials because they would not be of any use if they just sit in the libraries and nobody is making use of them.