Library Association Opposes Appointment Of Non-librarians To Head Libraries

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The Nigerian Library Association has expressed concern over the appointment of non-librarians by employers of labour to head libraries across the country.

The President of the association, Pastor Dominic Omokaro, said this at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja to herald the celebration of the NLA 62nd anniversary.

Omokaro said the trend undermined the expertise and professionalism of trained librarians.

He added that the development hampered the effective management and development of library services in the country.

Omokaro described the appointment of a non-librarian to man a library as an aberration.

He noted that the association had a lot of professionals that could be appointed for such positions.

“The appointment of non-librarians to head libraries in Nigeria is an anomaly because the profession is highly regulated.

“We have government regulatory agency that regulate who a librarian is and what qualifications you need to have to practice as a librarian.

“So, it becomes an aberration when you take a lawyer, doctor or engineer to head a library, so we are advocating that our jobs are not taken away from us because we have trained librarians.

“As I speak, we have over 150 professors of library, 500 to 1,000 librarians with PHD and over 14,000 members in the association captured and recognised as librarians,” he said.

Omokaro said in spite of the embargo on employment by the Federal Government, special waivers had been given to some Ministries Departments and Agencies to employ staff to fill vacancies arising from retirement and job migration.

He explained that the Head of Service of the Federation had not seen the need to give waiver for the employment of librarians in the Federal Civil Service.

Omokaro pleaded that their members should be considered for appointments.

He also called on President Bola Tinubu to mandate the Tertiary Education Trust Fund for the completion of the national library project.

He lamented the collapse of school library system, calling on the Federal Ministry of Education to help capture librarians to man libraries in schools.

“Another area of interest is the State Library Boards. The public library system is the university of the ordinary Nigerian but the story today is appalling and a shame to the elites of this country.

“It is time to review their laws and for standardisation of the Public Library System in Nigeria.

“Other area of neglect is the Parliamentary Libraries at the national and state assembly levels which must be looked into,” he added.

He, therefore, charged the National Universities Commission, the National Board for Technical Education and the National Board for Colleges of Education, to make effort to engage librarians to help arrest these observable anomalies.

He said the association would be holding its 62nd National Conference and Annual General Meeting from July 7 to July 12, 2024, in Port Harcourt to draw attention to the myriad of pressing issues plaguing the sector.

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