2021 NLN Readership Promotion Campaign Holds in Awka

2021 NLN Readership Promotion Campaign Holds in Awka

By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The 2021 Readership Promotion Campaign by the National Library of Nigeria has come to a successful end in Anambra, with a call on youths and students to imbibe good reading culture.

Themed "Building a Nation of Readers: Share Your Story", the annual event, which held on Tuesday at the Prof. Kenneth Dike Central E-Library Awka, Anambra state capital, also simultaneously held in some other states across the federation, including Nasarawa, Ogun, Cross River, Kwara, Niger and Adamawa, having also previously held in some other states.

In her address of welcome, the Ag. National Librarian/CEO National Library of Nigeria, Dr. Oluchi Kalu said the objectives of the event were to encourage and revive the moribund reading culture among Nigerians, by way of promoting the availability of good reading materials, sensitizing, informing, and educating children, youths and students on reading culture; and to collectively, with other stakeholders, seek solutions to address identified obstacles to reading culture in Nigeria. 

While explaining that the campaigns were later extended to some identified groups in the society, such as the expectant and nursing mothers in maternity homes, workers and travellers in motor parks, inmates in the correctional centres and rural dwellers, among other groups; Dr. Kalu, who was represented by the Head, NLN, Lagos, Mrs Uju Onuora  further urged the participants to join hands to make Nigeria a reading nation.

Speaking, the Director State Library Board, Dr. Nkechi Udeze said it was important to start teaching children to imbibe good reading culture early enough, and frowned at the rate at which teachers and parents encourage malpractice among students today.

She said: "Many students no longer know what it means to burn midnight candle. We burned midnight candles, competing and boasting of how many books we've read, simply because we wanted to be outstanding. But today, the reverse is the case. Many students no longer read, but depend on malpractice. And even most parents and teachers contribute immensely to that."

Dr. Udeze reminded the teachers that there is nothing like dullard, and further urged them to understand that every student's speed of understanding and learning defers from that of the other, and advised them to always put this into consideration when teaching the students, rather than unnecessarily punishing them, or teaching only the smartest ones and without caring if others learn or not.

Earlier in her opening remarks, the Host and Head of Branch (designate) of the National Library of Nigeria, Anambra State Branch, Mrs Nwando Eseni welcomed the librarians who came from different parts of the country to grace the event in Anambra State, and urged the participants to pay keen attention to the lectures, so as to learn and put everything taught at the event into practice.

Lecturing on reading culture, Mrs. Eseni further defined reading as a very important mental exercise, identified two types of reading to include intensive and extensive reading, and highlighted numerous benefits of reading, even as she called on the students to make their books their friends, by reading at least daily.

Other top-ranking librarians who graced the occasion include the Head, Internal Audit, National Library of Nigeria, Dauda Michael Atanda; the Public Relations Officer, NLN, Mr. Musa Saleh; Chief Confidential Secretary, NLN, Mayaki Felicia; and Asst. Desk Officer, ISBN, Enugu, Mr. Anyanwu G.O; among others.

In a vote of thanks, a teacher, Mrs. Umeh Brendan, of Flora Field Montessori School, Okpuno Awka, appreciated the organisers of the event for such wonderful initiative, which, she testified, was immensely beneficial to her students and personally to herself as a person.

She however suggested that more schools and students be invited during the subsequent editions of the event, for maximum impacts.

The event featured a special reading session with the children, distribution of books to the participants, among other things that made it a memorable one indeed.