The University of Lagos Library and the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the Consulate General of the United States of America in Lagos joined forces on Wednesday, September 8, to celebrate the 2021 International Literacy Day with a two-day training workshop for professional librarians in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
The blended event (on-site and online) took place at the Arthur Mbanefo Digital Research Centre and was attended by over 420 Information Management professionals drawn from universities, polytechnics and specialised research institutes spread across the country.
The theme of the workshop was “Re-modelling Library and Information Literacy Programmes (LILP) in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria: Practical Options for Information Professionals”.
In her welcome address, the University Librarian, Dr. (Mrs) Yetunde Zaid emphasised the determination of the University of Lagos to reenergise and reposition the profession of academic librarianship for relevance, both within the higher institutions and in the larger society. She harped on the need for librarians in higher institutions across Nigeria to sharpen their skills and get comfortable with tools of digital literacy. She also expressed optimism that the narrative on campuses will soon change, as a result of the training which will equip participants with the core competencies to keep libraries relevant in the research and knowledge cycle.
Director of the American Centre, Lagos, Mr. Sam Eyitayo, kick-started the sessions with a presentation on the need to remodel the content and delivery modes of library instructions to better equip Nigerian students with soft competencies like problem solving, public presentation, decision making, time management, communication and technology skills amongst others. He disclosed that one of the reasons for the partnership with UNILAG Library is to help tertiary education librarians develop their capacity to help university students intelligently navigate the information landscape. He averred that the time has come for libraries in tertiary institutions to become skill-acquisition, grooming, and knowledge creation centres.
Mr. Stephen Ibelli, Acting Consul-General of the US Consulate, made a virtual appearance at the opening ceremony of the workshop. He posited that this year’s International Literacy Day celebration provides opportunities to reflect on, and to discuss how innovative and effective teaching methodologies can be used in literacy programs for the youth. He encouraged participants to immediately consider how to remodel their library literacy programs to educate upcoming generations. Stephen Ibelli emphasized the determination of the US Government to help Nigerian youths in the development of their capacities and to help them take advantage of opportunities that abound all over the world.
On hand to represent the Vice-Chancellor at the event was Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services). She expressed gratitude to the Consulate for considering the University of Lagos for the partnership, with the assurance that the university will make the most of it for the greater benefit of the society as a whole. She noted the aptness of the theme of the training workshop, coming at a time when digital communication and information models have become the preferred means for teaching and learning.
Other speakers at the training workshop include: Bryan Fuller from Morgan State University, USA; Dr. Ayo Alonge, University of Ibadan, Dr. Jide Oke, Knowledge Fortress, Dr. Chris Okiki and Dr Nike Alabi, University of Lagos.