Digitised National Library A Sign Of Hope For Nigeria – Prof Chinwe Anunobi

Digitised National Library A Sign Of Hope For Nigeria – Prof Chinwe Anunobi

Professor Chinwe Veronica Anunobi has affirmed that library services across the various branches and offices of the National Library of Nigeria (NLN) have now been digitised.

Prof Anunobi who serves as National Librarian, said going digital will allow the public from any part of the world easily access literary and intellectual materials within the library’s system, a process which she believes does serve as a sign of hope for a brighter future in Nigeria.

Speaking to newsmen at press conference in Abuja, on Tuesday, she said the digitization process has also caused the library to develop the National Repository of Nigeria (NRN).

According to her, the NRN is about 70 per cent complete, and there is hope that  completion and commissioning for public use will be achieved by November 2022.

Prof Anunobi explained that the NRN will house in electronic form, all of Nigeria’s heritage that has been deposited from inception to date by authors, printers or publishers, in compliance with the legal deposit law, adding that it will be accessible by every Nigerian and beyond, regardless of status, qualification, or location.

Explaining further, she noted that access to the materials will be in three categories, namely, full access, partial access (metadata and content page) and read only; and it is not only designed to increase visibility of Nigerian intellectual heritage but also to enable creators of the intellectual heritage have return on investments.

Mrs Anunobi also confirmed that automation of the platform which makes it possible for authors and publishers to apply and receive will dispatch the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), International Serials Number (ISN), and Catalogue in Publication (CIP), contrary to the age-long practices.

“We have also deployed KOHA library automation software for cataloguing and classification in National Library. In April, we launched our Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), the window for all the resources housed in NLN. This will enable users to virtually check for the materials we have, and their exact location, without physically rummaging our shelves.

“Similarly, the ISBN verification platform has helped authors and publishers to verify the genuineness of the ISBN they are using, and has also helped eliminate the faking of standard numbers.”

Furthermore she disclosed that the digitization exercise in the NLN has also resulted in the indexing of all Nigerian newspapers, making them available online, hence researchers can easily access news stories and articles of their interest.

The National Librarian further stated that measures have been taken to expedite the construction work on the “abandoned” headquarters of NLN located at Central Area, Abuja.

According to her, approvals have also been secured from the Federal Executive Council (FEC), to construct new NLN prototype branches in Kwara, and Ogun state.

At the press conference,  Prof Anunobi who also serves as CEO of the Naional Library reeled out an Eight Point Focus of her administration.

She emphasized that although the National Library of Nigeria will continue with all other routine services in accordance with the best global practices, a lot of attention will be given to the Digitization and Development of National Repository of Nigeria (NRN); Virtual Library Services Development; Automation of Library Operations and Services; Enhancing the Branch Libraries Environment; and Providing Library Services to the “Hard to Reach”.

Other areas of focus include an Enhancement of  Literacy Sensitization and Encouragement of the Documentation of Family Heritage in Indigenous Languages; an Expansion and Strengthening of the National Library Archives; as well as Collaborating with Schools to Ensure Establishment and Management of Libraries for the Promotion of Reading.

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