• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Public libraries in sorry state, need urgent intervention – NLA Chairman, Franklin

Public librarie
Vincent Giwa Franklin, chairman of the Nigeria Libraries Association (NLA) has said that some public libraries are in a sorry state that needs urgent government intervention for future generations.
Franklin stated this during the 2024 conference of the national libraries with state librarians, directors and chairmen of public libraries in Nigeria at the Sulgad Majestic Hotel, Maiduguri bypass in Bauchi State.
He noted that most of the public library premises across the country have been taken over completely either by human encroachment or the rearing of animals and bushes.
According to the NLA Chairman, Franklin said that “Most of our public libraries don’t have modern equipments and facilities needed to run the 21st century smart libraries and most still rely on obsolete equipments and facilities in all the libraries across the country except few of them for lack of electricity power, out dated reading resources, books and journals”
He further said that public libraries are paid less than their work output ” There’s also poor renumeration and motivation despite their specialization of work, some of them are poor renumerated, unlike most civil servants because some public libraries put on extra work hours while the official work hours is from 7:30am-3:30pm but somes closed 6:00pm or 7:00pm and also open weekends, my state library open even on Saturdays and Sundays”
” Our professional counterparts such as accounts, auditors, surveyors, teachers and the like enjoy consolidated salary scale, state libraries and chief executives of public libraries boards who are responsible for autonomous government parastatal and agencies are treated like mere directors of units or section of government department”
He said that the “Chief executive of any state library board should attract renumeration and rank of a consolidated salary scale as accountant generals, surveyor’s, auditors and principal generals etcetera in the state civil service”
” Librarians are not recruited even as old ones are retiring, adding that some states are only boast of two librarians in their entire public library service”
” It’s still a thing of surprise that other cadres in the Federal civil service have more vacancies for the level of director in the Federal civil service, while seven agencies with qualified librarians who have attained the post of directors but are stagnated and could not be promoted because there are not vacancies”
“We plead with the minister of state for education, Honorable Tanko Sununu to help us address this impasse through the National Council on Establishment”
The chairman of the Nigeria Library Association, Mr Vincent Giwa Franklin, thanked Governor Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir and the entire good people of Bauchi State for agreeing to host the 2024 conference of the National Library of Nigeria.
“In all the places we have held this conference, Bauchi State stands out superlatively in terms of hospitality, preparedness and top notch planning, while other states that have hosted the conference had between six to three months notice but Bauchi State got the notice of this conference in less than four weeks, thanks to governor Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir for his expeditious approval, without that quick intervention, we will not be here today in this beautiful arena” he stated.