National Library Holds Readership Promotion Campaign in Anambra

By Izunna Okafor

In her mission to promote reading culture in the country, the National Library of Nigeria has marked her 2019 Readership Promotion Campaign.

The event, which took place at the auditorium hall of the Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, Awka, the Anambra State Capital, held on Tuesday with the theme: "Reviving Moribund Culture of Reading in Nigeria For Sustainable National Development"

Declaring the event open, the state's commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Honourable C. Don Adinuba described reading as a very important aspect of human life, regardless of age, as its merits in nation building and human capital development can never be overemphasized.

He highlighted some of the giants feats recorded in the state's educational sector under Governor Willie Obiano, as testified by the various national and international trophies recently won by students of the state, and further revealed that the governor has issued a directive to ensure that Anambra State has the best library in the whole country in six months time.

In her own part, the state's commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, represented by the Head of Education Service Department in the ministry, Lady Vera Ogbalu appreciated the National Library of Nigeria and the Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Libray for such great initiative, which she said will go a long way in promoting the reading culture among the students. She further urged Igbo parents and teachers to teach their children how to read Igbo books, as promoting reading culture should not only be anchored on reading English books, while many students do not also know how to read or write Igbo Language.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Ugwuanyi Anichebe, who is also the College Librarian, Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze, reminded the students that reading and studying hard is one of the things they must never neglect if they want to be successful and resourceful in life, as the importance of reading in the life a man cannot be overemphasized. He described the event and its theme as apt, given the swift rate at which the reading culture among the students now decreases, even as he lauded the efforts of the National Library of Nigeria, Anambra State Government, and the Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library in promoting and encouraging good reading culture, which he said holds great and brighter prospects for the future of the students and the society at large.

In their separate goodwill messages, the National Librarian/CEO, Prof. Lenrie Aina, represented by the Director, Collection Development and Technical Services Department, National Library, Prof. Anthonia Onuoha; and the Rtd. Deputy Director, Administration, Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, Awka, Mrs. Nkiru Amobi noted that poor reading culture phenomena cut across all social strata of the Nigerian society, and harped on the need for the sustenance of such readership campaign, and more importantly, taking it to every nook and cranny of the country. This, they said, will be of great assistance in rekindling the ailing reading culture in the country to or better than what it used to be in the 60s and 70s.

In an interview with National Light, the Head of Branch, Enugu State, National Library of Nigeria Mrs. Rachael Nebo, said the aim of the campaign which holds every year in all the 36 states of the federation was to revive the reading culture in the country, which she said is one of the poorest in the world and manifests in the students' performances in many national and international exams. She further called on the teachers to imbibe good reading culture themselves and so as to be able to pass it unto the students, as one cannot give out what he does not have.

The Acting Director of the Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library, Awka, Dr. Nkechi Udeze appreciated the National Library of Nigeria and the participants at the event, who were mostly students and pupils, even as she urged them to hold tenaciously and practice regularly what they have learnt in the course of the campaign, in their various schools.

Highlights of the event include: lecture on the topic "Reading: A Building Block For National Unity And Cultural Integration" delivered by the Head of Department, Institute of Repository, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Dr. Mercy Anyaegbu; presentations by the participating schools, Reading and Spelling Bee competitions as well as presentation of prizes to the winning schools and students/pupils.

In the competitions, Gran Hermano Academy, Awka took the first position, and was presented with a desktop computer, book shelf and books; the Blossom Fount Model School, Awka which came second was presented with book shelf and books, while the Abbot Girls Secondary School, Ihiala, which took the third position was presented with books and book shelf.

Udeozo Primary School, Awka clinched first position in the primary school category, while Udodinihu Primary School went home with the second Prize.

Best performing student was also presented with a palmtop computer, plus other consolation prizes given to other participating schools.