National Librarian Stresses Importance of Public Library Investment for Achieving SDGs

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Professor Chinwe Anunobi, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Library of Nigeria (NLN), emphasised the crucial role of investing in public libraries in accelerating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria. Speaking at the sixth Conference of the National Librarian and Directors, Anunobi highlighted that public libraries serve as vital centers for learning and social inclusivity, often referred to as the “poor man’s university.”

 

Anunobi underscored the significance of public libraries as places where barriers to progress are broken, and everyone’s potential can be realized. She emphasised that investing in public libraries is a practical pathway to fulfilling the 17 SDG goals in Nigeria, recognizing literacy as not only the ability to read and write but also as a gateway to opportunity, empowerment, and social inclusion.

 

The conference, held in Bauchi, received support and sponsorship from the Bauchi state governor, for which Anunobi expressed gratitude. Dr. Jamila Dahiru, the Bauchi Commissioner for Education, echoed the sentiment, describing public libraries as dynamic hubs for learning, community engagement, and social transformation. She emphasised their role in providing inclusive access to information, promoting literacy, and supporting lifelong learning.

 

Governor Bala Mohammed, represented by Suleiman Abubakar, the Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, highlighted the achievements of the Bauchi State Library under his administration. Mohammed approved the establishment of two new zonal public libraries in addition to the existing one, aiming to promote a reading culture, support education, and provide citizens with access to resources for improving their lives.

 

The expansion of public libraries, both at the state level and within educational institutions, reflects a commitment to fostering literacy, knowledge dissemination, and societal development. Through collaborative efforts between government entities, educational institutions, and library stakeholders, the potential for leveraging public libraries to advance the SDGs in Nigeria remains promising.

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