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The National Librarian, Professor. Lenrie O. Aina has promised that state branches of the National Library would be revitalised and supported to render optimal services to the reading public, across the country. Professor Aina made this commitment when he visited the South Eastern branches of the National Library of Nigeria on familiar¬ization visit which took effect from Monday 13th February, 2017.
The branches visited during the tour are Enugu, Abia and Imo. Apart from the visit to the state branches of the National Library of Nigeria, the National Librar¬ian also visited the construction work going on at the Center for Advance Library and Information Management (CALIM) and the community e-library been built in Ebunwana. He also took his advo¬cacy about ISSN/ISBN and Legal deposit to Institute of Management Technology, Enugu (IMT), Vice-Chancellor, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, as well as the the Governor of Ebonyi state, and the Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede.
At the branches, he was able to feel the pulse of the staff, inspected facili¬ties, addressed the importance of setting up branches and the fact that they are the focal point as well as the eyes of the National Library of Nigeria. He prom¬ised to continue to support the branches with regular payment of imprest for proper running of the branches. He also promised a phenomenal upgrade of infrastructure as well as improved staff welfare. These he said were necessary motivation to staff, in order to enhance effective and efficient service delivery to the public, for whom the National Library of Nigeria was set up to serve.
The Head of Branch Mrs. Rachael Ify Neboh, while welcoming the National Librarian, expressed her joy and that of the other staff for the visit. She stressed the fact that the visit was a clear portrayal of servant leadership exhibited by an exem¬plary leader. In her speech, she also eulo¬gized staff members who have over the years kept faith with the core functions of the National Library of Nigeria at the branch level making the branch conducive for readers’ services and the general public that patronize the services of the branch.
She however, intimated the National Librarian of the challenges hampering effi¬cient service delivery to the public. These include; lack of training especially on appropriate ICT skills tailored for specific library information services, blown off roof leading to flooding of the conference hall. She also complained of the collapsed fence which poses a threat to security of the library as well as Inadequate security and cleaning personnel. Other challenges listed by the Head of Branch are non-avail¬ability of e-book contents, and inadequate chairs for readers and staff.
The National Librarian in his response stated that “that is the essence of my visit to the state branches. To assess the physical condition of our branches, the morale and welfare of our staff as well as listen to their opinions so that together, we can improve our service delivery to the public. We must strive to meet the expectations of the public at all times because we exist because of them.” He further assured the Head of Branch of prompt action on the requests, while encouraging the branch to keep up with the best practices.
While inspecting facilities at the branch, the National Librarian discovered that some items such as air conditioners and generators had been cannibalised and carted away alongside some other sundry items. He immediately directed the Head of Branch to report the matter to the police, and the matter is presently under investigation. He has equally directed the Director of Human Resources and Admin¬istration to activate relevant administrative procedures for handling such matters.