By Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The federal government is set to unveil plans towards introducing qualifying examination for all Library and Information Science (LIS) professionals in the country.
The Registrar/CEO, Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN), Prof. Michael Afolabi, who made this known at a national workshop on Database Design and Management for Academic and Research Libraries, noted that once all necessary procedures are finalised, induction of librarians would be based on their successes at the professional examinations.
He stressed that once the professional qualifying examination commences, fresh graduates of LIS who fail the exams may not secure meaningful appointments in the library profession, adding that current practitioners who are yet to be certified by the council will no longer be promoted at work until they sit for the exams.
In a statement issued by the LRCN’s Assistant Director of Information, Mrs. Ngozi Oboh, Afolabi urged all LIS practitioners to ensure they get registered with the LRCN as soon as possible.
“LRCN plans to introduce professional qualifying examination for librarians. In addition to the possession of a degree in Library and Information Science, applicants would be made to sit and be successful in the professional examination before they will be inducted.
“We will set standards that align with international best practices to ensure that librarianship practised in Nigeria is at par with that practised all over the world,” he said.
Afolabi disclosed that the decision by the Council to register and train librarians in the area of database design and management was primarily to ensure data security, facilitate data sharing, and reduce data redundancy, so as to raise a team of seasoned librarians who would deliver optimal services in the sector.
The LRCN boss, who expressed optimism that library services would begin to make meaningful contribution to businesses and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country soon, maintained that the world has entered the era in which the source of wealth and power was increasingly from information and human mental creativity as compared with physical resources.
“Thus global economy has become not only knowledge intensive but also transactional and extremely competitive. Because of the central place of information in national development as exemplified by the topmost economies of the world, Nigeria needs to mainstream libraries and information in her development agenda.
“This implies that information be perceived, portrayed and utilised as a requirement for the people’s survival and be used to harness their sentiments, energies and talents for appropriate development actions,” he added.