Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration is set to collaborate with the Nigerian Library Association (NLA) to rethink and restore the library system in the state.
He made this known while receiving executive members of the association, led by the Chairman of Edo State Chapter, Dr. (Mrs.) Evelyn Omoluabi Idiodi on a courtesy visit at the Edo State Government House in Benin City.
Obaseki revealed that the collaboration would help to create a new model of library system that would work for the state, adding that the group’s visit was timely because of the importance of libraries in the state’s educational system.
He said: “What we are looking at is to rethink the library system. We can have many more books than we can store physically, we can store such electronically. We can have an e-library, using it as a model to re-enact our library system in the state”.
The governor restated his administration’s plan to woo investors into the state to invest in the library system
“I know of people who are currently investing on libraries in schools. I am speaking with an investor with the funding to come invest in the state. We must agree and come out with a plan and our project must not be too expensive”.
He further encouraged people to contribute by donating books, structures or funds to speed-up the development of public and private library systems in the state.
Meanwhile, Idiodi lamented the deteriorating nature of public and private library systems in the state recalling that the old Mid-Western region, later Bendel State Library Board did not only provide opportunities for knowledge development, but also kept children from truancy.
She said Edo state no longer occupies a pride of place in the national libraries rating due to rapidly declining staff strength, and obsolete structures and books.
She, however, called for the establishment of school libraries in all secondary schools in the state, explaining that it would not only create jobs, but also bring the state library system up to speed with the modern standards.