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Stakeholders have lamented that libraries are being underutilised among Nigerians saying it has further dwindled reading culture in the country.
In their separate remarks at the 2018 Library Week held at the premises of the Osun State Library Board on Wednesday, these stakeholders said there was a need for Nigerians, especially youths to understand the value that reading has on the growth of a nation.
At the lecture day of the Week long programme, stakeholders including top officials from the state ministry of education, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on education, Mrs. Oluyamisi Falorinloye, library users, corps members, students and parents discussed the decline in reading culture saying it is alarming.
For the governor’s aide, the state government has been trying to equip the state library lamenting that many citizens of the state don’t value it’s usage.
She said readers are leaders and therefore enjoined youths and Nigerians at large to imbibe the culture of reading and visit libraries to read to be fortified for the future challenges.
The Guest lecturer at the event, Dr. Lekan Asifat who lectured on the topic: “Libraries And Social Media As Catalysts For National Unity And Security,” said the postive use of libraries could contribute in the fight against terrorism through effective propaganda.
He expressed concern that libraries are being underutilised in Nigeria saying this has caused so many Nigerians retardedness and dullness.
Asifat said since libraries are used to collect and disseminate information, terrorism can be countered through effective information dissemination saying “libraries are indeed of the most (if not the most) useful enterprises ever undertaken by man.
“This is evident by human development which shows that libraries have been the great force that has contributed to human civilisation. Libraries and social media are, not only repository of knowledge, they have an active rope to play in promoting national unity and security.
“It is, therefore, the responsibility of students at all levels, readers, and librarians to make use of libraries and social media especially through prompt reporting to curb insecurity problems in Nigeria in order to enhance her national unity.
“Information obtained from the libraries and social media should not be used as a conduit for falsehoods or to incite violence or for selfish and sectional loyalties,” Asifat said.
Also speaking, the Tutor General and Permanent Secretary in the state ministry of education, Mr. Anthony Famoriyo said poor reading culture and dwindling utilisation of library among Nigerians are fast affecting the nation negatively.
Famoriyo disclosed that Governor Aregbesola, in his efforts to rejuvenate the condition of the state library directed all tutor generals and other officials of the ministry to donate twenty books each to the library promising that they would adhere strictly.
Other stakeholders including the Librarian, Mrs. Funke Kolawole advised Nigerians and youths of the state to always make use of library saying that she had been making frantic efforts to reform the state library and also ensure that libraries are available in all schools in the state.
The coordinator of Refugee Life Foundation, a Non governmental organisation who donated 1,000 books to the State library, Mr. Bolarinwa Olabode who also lamented the poor reading culture among Nigerians urged the people of the state to read saying readers are leaders.
The library management and staff had embarked on a walk across the capital city to sensitise residents of the need to read and use the library.