Library science programmes due for accreditation

August 2012

The chief executive officer of the Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria (LRCN), Dr. Victoria Okojie, has hinted that the Institutional and programmes accreditation exercise for the library and information science sector would take place in the last quarter of 2012.
Already, benchmarks for the Library Information Service Programmes for the tertiary institutions in the country are being developed by the Council, according to Okojie, who spoke at the national workshop on e-Library for Librarians and information workers in Lokoja, Kogi state recently. She affirmed that the accreditation would be done in collaboration with the National Universities Commission (NUC).
She noted: “When the benchmark is in place, it will explain who a Librarian is and what a standard library should be. We will put in place the guidelines and processes for running professional examinations and start registration of institutional libraries.”
Okojie also stated that the LRCN has developed a draft code of
professional conduct for librarians; developed an interactive website; organized training workshops for teacher librarians; engaged actively with the LIS community in Nigeria and developed enduring partners outside the country. She declared that the Council would also set up the Librarians Investigation Panel and Disciplinary Committee to address breaches.
On the reason behind the workshop, she said: “A critical aspect of the national economy that urgently requires transformation is the education sector, of which librarians are a major stakeholder. The workshop is aimed at equipping participants with the relevant skills and knowledge to effectively set up and manage e-library and information centres.
“It is in realization of the major role of librarians in national development and the attendant challenges facing the profession that the Librarians’ Registration council of Nigeria (LRCN) is unflinchingly committed to maintaining sustainable quality and
standards, to ensure professional development of librarians in the country, as mandated by the Act establishing it.”
Declaring the event Open, the Information Resource Officer of the United States of America’s (USA) mission in Nigeria, Susan Miller said introducing technology to Nigeria’s library sector was the way to go. “The books are not necessarily as available as we want, but through online technology you can have access toeducation.”
The workshop was organized in collaboration with US mission. Over 100 Librarians from the different parts of the country attended.
Meanwhile, Library and Information Scientists (LIS) across Africa are now seeking a unified body that would enable them fast-track the development of the sector within the continent, according to the Registrar of the Librarians’ Registration Council, Dr Victoria Okojie.
Speaking at the just concluded 20th standing Conference of Eastern, Central and Southern African Information and Library Associations (SCECSAL) held in Nairobi, Kenya recently, Okojie also disclosed that the proposed body, to be known as the African Library Information Association and Institutions (AfLIA), would support the library and information profession that anticipates and responds to the needs of communities in Africa.
She averred that already, an explanatory committee that would undertake preliminary activities has been constituted. She revealed that the decision to form the body was taken at the first Africa library summit, held in South Africa in 2011, where delegates agreed to a motion for the establishment of an African Federation for Library and Information Science.
Membership of the AfLIA will cover the National Library Associations; Academic, Public, National, Special and School libraries. Information and Documentation Centres will also be included.

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