LIBRARY has been described as a vital institution and a major enabler of national development, owing its expansive, engaging and inspiring information services to the society.
Charles Obiorah Omekwu of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, made the assertion at the 2020 Conference/Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Library Association (NLA), Anambra State Chapter, which held at Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library Awka.
According to him, both the society and information are dynamic; hence the need for upgrading of library services to meet the changing societal need and global standard.
Delivering the keynote speech, Prof. Omekwu , a legal luminary ,said: “A society without a library is like a body without a heart. But libraries must wake up and think of services beyond the four walls of the physical building. The engagement role of the library must also be taken very serious, such that the society at large will feel the impacts of the library’s existence and its enormous services.”
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Occasion, Dr. Nelson Omenugha described the conference and its theme, “Libraries for All: Expansive, Engaging and Inspiring Information Services for National Development” as very apt, looking at the current situation of the country and the indispensable importance of library and information services in the society.
“All over the world, what drives development is research, and you cannot talk about research without talking about library; hence the need for government, individuals, philanthropists, professionals and everyone to always support the library, by repositioning, revitalising, expanding and promoting it and its activities.”
Earlier in her address of welcome, the director, Anambra State Library Board and Chairperson, Nigerian Library Association, Anambra State Chapter, Dr. NkechiUdeze said the annual conference was an occasion that gives them opportunity to gather and deliberate on current trends bordering on their librarianship profession.
Noting that libraries are faced with many roles and many challenges, she called on stakeholders to realise the importance of inclusive library information services and put all hands on deck to ensure that potential and active library patrons/users are reached, both for personal and national development.
Declaring the event open, the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Secondary Education, Dr. Paul Ifeanyi noted that library and librarians occupy very important positions in the society. He however regretted that the country does not recognise and encourage the education system and intellectuals, calling for change in the value system.
In their separate remarks, Ogugua Ochuba, Dr. Aniehobi Egbuna Sebastian, Dr. Olebunne, Dr. Ebele Anyaoku, Mrs. Ngozi Perpetual Osuchukwu and Mr. Obiora Kingsley Udem appreciated library for its developmental roles and urged it never to fail in its roles of educating, informing, and preserving, etc.