Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN) is building the capacity of librarians in electronic resource sharing and networking among their counterparts in an effort aimed at digitizing library operations.
The Registrar of LRCN, Professor Michael Afolabi, who made this known recently at the national workshop on Electronic Resource Sharing and Networking in Libraries, organised by the council at Imo State University, Owerri, said the 21st century has witnessed a shift from the traditional physical inter-library loan to digital resource sharing and networking.
In a statement signed by the Deputy Director of Public Relations, LRCN, Ngozi Oboh, the registrar explained that although libraries may be in different jurisdictions, but agree to serve one another on the same basis as each serves its own constituent, electronic resource sharing which involves a mutual agreement between libraries to exchange resources could improve access to information from other libraries across the world.
“Since modern day librarianship involves the infusion of ICTs for collection, organisation, preservation and dissemination of information, organisations must as a matter of priority, provide adequate power supply in all libraries as the ICT facilities require power to function efficiently.”
Afolabi encouraged state governments to support public libraries across the country by providing ICT facilities and seamless access to the internet, to enable them link up with library consortiums and share e-resources.
While expressing worry that some public libraries have resources that are not being utilised optimally because of near-absence of ICT infrastructure and internet services, he urged the libraries to develop their library- specific websites to increase their visibility and participate effectively in the information super highway.
“The benefits of sharing resources and networking among libraries include improved library stock and improved contact among libraries; collection and mobility of data or information is guaranteed since libraries do not meet physically before they exchange materials. Transport barriers are removed because acquisition is done online. Electronic resource sharing helps in addressing duplication in research and development so libraries are properly positioned to select and acquire only relevant materials,” he added.
Commending Nigerian universities for setting up the Nigerian University Libraries Consortium, code-named NuLib for electronic resource sharing, he urged other libraries to join existing groups or form consortiums that would lead to the birth of the consortium of libraries in Nigeria, as consortium helps to crash prices and provide access to quality electronic resources.