Report of the 27th Annual Conference of the Nigerian School Library Association, Held at the Chapel Multipurpose Hall, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Monday, 29 October – Friday, 02 November, 2012
The Opening ceremony of the 27th Annual Conference of the Nigerian School Library Association was held at the Chapel Multipurpose Hall, University of Ibadan on Tuesday 30th October, 2012. The opening remark was given by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka. The welcome address was given by the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof I.F. Adewole who was ably represented by the University Librarian, Dr. B.O. Oladele. The Vice Chancellor commended the Nigerian School Library Association efforts at ensuring a sustainable school library service in Nigeria and wished the participants a fruitful deliberation.
The Conference was declared open by the Hon. Commissioner for Education in Oyo State who was represented by the State Librarian in person of Mrs Adigun. The Hon. Commissioner welcomed the participants to Oyo state and encouraged. The President of the Association, Prof V.W. Dike and the Executive Secretary, Prof. D.F. Elaturoti also took turn to address the participants and encourage them to take maximum advantage of the conference to update their knowledge on the current trends in school librarianship and school libraries development in Nigeria. Also, representatives of government agencies and parastatals and sister organisations such as SUBEB, TESCOM, NPA, ANCOPPSS, NLA etc took their turn to give goodwill messages at the opening ceremony. The Conference exhibition was declared opened by the pioneer president of the Association, Prof. Adetoun Ogunsheye.
The Conference was attended by participants from Federal and State Ministries of Education, basic, post-basic, and tertiary educational institutions (Public primary and secondary schools, Command schools, Airforce schools, Navy schools, NNPC Staff schools, University staff schools, Private primary and secondary schools), Boards for Education ( State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs), State Library Boards, Teaching Service Commissions (TESCOMs), National Library of Nigeria, among others.
The Annual General Meeting held during the Conference on Wednesday, 30 October, 2012 issued a communiqué as follows:
1. For the attainment of high quality library services in Nigerian schools, and in consonance with best practice internationally, school library legislation should be enacted by all levels of government in Nigeria for the establishment and development of library in all schools.
2. Qualified school library personnel are essential for sustainable quality school library services. We therefore urge government to employ qualified school librarians/school library media specialists to manage school libraries and media centres in Nigeria and to mount regular capacity development programmes for school library personnel.
3. Schools in Nigeria (primary and secondary) should incorporate on their time-table at least two library periods per week in order for students to develop essential reading and learning skills.
4. Government should approve curriculum for teaching and learning of library and information skills appropriate for each level of education system in Nigeria.
5. The Nigerian School Library Association observed the dearth of reading materials for Nigerian children. To address this need, we urge the government to support projects aimed at producing and distributing suitable and appropriate reading materials for the Nigerian school children through legislation, funding and collaboration with relevant bodies.
6. School libraries in Nigeria should be ICT compliant in order to enhance the quality of education in schools. Therefore, government should ensure provision of electronic resources and regular supply of electricity for their effective utilization.
7. The NSLA has identified funding as a major obstacle to quality school library service. We hereby urge government and proprietor of schools to increase funding of school libraries through direct grants, regular budgetary provision and Public Private Programme Collaborations.
8. To ensure effective utilization of funds and facilities provided, government should establish inspectorate division for proper and effective monitoring of the school libraries.
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