Librarians in Nigeria have
been tasked to acquire relevant skills to become key players in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector and also apply such skills to improve the lot of information seekers.
The Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN), Dr. Victoria Okojie gave the charge during the opening ceremony of the national workshop on the ”Application of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Library Operations” for librarians and information managers in the country, Wedmesday.
The event which was held at the University of Nigeria Nsukka,(UNN), in Enugu State was organised by LRCN in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Okojie disclosed that it was the desire of LRCN to train over 4,000 certified librarians in Nigeria, if the resources were provided.
The council has also approved the certification of more than 800 librarians at the 5th Induction scheduled to hold in September this year in Abuja, pointing out that “this will bring the number of registered librarians to over 4,000.”
The registrar explained that the aim of the workshop was to make librarians and information managers aware of the possibilities FOSS offered for the modernising Nigerian libraries and to facilitate information sharing.
She further pointed out that the workshop would also strengthen the technical capacity of professional librarians and information mangers in deploying FOSS tools such as D-Space, Greenstone, Koha and CDS/ISIS, adding that ”at the end of the workshop, we would have trained about 200 librarians in the use of Open Source software. This is about five percent of certified librarians, so there is still a lot of work to be done.”
According to her, LRCN was committed to ensuring that information professionals in the country are equal to their counterparts in developed countries.
In a welcome address, the Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba said the theme of the workshop, “Application of Free and Open Source Software in Library Operations” was well thought out particularly now that most libraries in Africa are making frantic efforts in the development of their digital libraries.
The Vice Chancellor said the workshop was also critical in building the required capacity among Nigerian librarians in acquisition of the required capacity of the required skills and competencies which propel the present information society.
His words: “The use of appropriate software in library operations is central to the globalisation and localisation of African research outputs. In performing these essential tasks, librarians need the right training which I am very sure this workshop will offer”.
He, expressed delight that the workshop was held on the campus while the university’s Digital Library projects are in progress, adding, ”we regard the library as the nerve centre of all the academic activities in the university”.
It would be recalled that this is the third edition of such workshops being put together by LRCN for its members in the country.
Librarians in Nigeria have