The constant negligence in the usage of library by students has raised concern despite the role of libraries in knowledge expansion and increase in wisdom and understanding.
By Precious Adoleh
Gone are the days when the average library was full of activities and home for academicians, but reverse seems to be the case this day as modern equipment has reduced the usage of the library.
Despite the important role of libraries in promoting qualitative knowledge, many people erroneously believe the libraries in different institutions in the country is outdated, which therefore doesn’t have the right information for the students.
Many students believe libraries have become outdated as their lives now revolve round the internet. Unfortunately, not all authors will want their works to be fully accessible over the net as we are now in a digital age. An adage says, when you want to hide something from a black man, put it in a book and he is never going to find it.
History records as far back as the 90s that some great men such as Ganiyu Fawehinmi who did not attend a higher institution made good use of his home library thereby facilitating self-education. And also the cheif executive (CEO) of Microsoft, Bill Gates dropped out of school at a very tender age also made efficient use of the library and today, he is ranked as the richest men in the world and also has one of the highly recognized and well stocked library.
Studies have shown that using the library for research over whelms many undergraduates . While those who even go there at all use the library as a meeting place where they talk to their classmates about upcoming exams or as a quiet place to take an afternoon nap but when it comes to actually using the library, anxiety is always the result.
Nigel ford in 1986 said “A library can be a stimulating place for some but others it might not be the case because people are different in nature.”
Other research work found out that most librarians are not welcoming and are not helping matters as they behave rudely to the students that`s why some students are hesitant in asking them for help and some even expressed being afraid to approach them at all which also reduces the patronage of the library. Libraries are of utmost importance in academic institutions as it is useful for teachers, administrators as well as the students since they go there to make new findings, carry out researches and also improve their knowledge because it is not possible for them to have all they need in the classroom.
A Bowen University graduate, Temiloluwa Onasanya, attributed the decay in the use of the library to overcrowded population and inability to get a specific book needed at a particular time.
“I can count the number of times I used the library throughout my stay in school, it is not that I don`t like the library but it is not accommodating and too congested for the whole population in the school. It is too crowded and lack modern equipment and so people prefer going to a quiet place where they will not see their friends around,” Onasanya said.
“But some of my course mates live in the library from morning till evening they are always studying despite it being crowded. For instance, when you need a particular book you have to search and search before you get it. I think it all depends on a perception of viewing things the way others see it. E-library should be introduced to ensure effective use of the library because we now in a technological age.”
Speaking with a public relations officer with the Nigerian Air-force, Lagos, Adeniran Olusegun, hinted that the continuous degradation in the use of libraries is now becoming a source of concern as libraries provide archive of information stored from generations to generations about our culture with possible solutions to solving the myopic way of reasoning.
“I have a library in my home where different books from both the dead and the living are stored, it was created to energize me and my family, to relax our brains, increase our wisdom, knowledge educationally, spiritually as well as enhance our vocabulary building. A library is an essential part of our lives because it is a storehouse of knowledge and the bank where knowledge existed years ago and it also tells us more about our past culture and history,” he said.
“Adequate use of the library encourages self discovery and knowledge expansion and therefore urged parents to create libraries in their homes Parents should create libraries in their homes and also students should make good use of the library so as to be above their contemporaries.”
There is this notion that libraries are now fashioned because of the contemporary age we are in now and also due to improvement in technology, no one wants to go to the library to source for information but prefer using the net.
However, libraries still remain archive of information. After all findings, Passion Africa gathered that libraries are very vital in the life of individuals because it aids learning and also serves as a documentary that enhances knowledge. But the reason why many students find reading in the library boring is due to unfamiliarity with the environment and also the stress involved when searching for books coupled with the unwelcoming attitude of most librarians which is also raising concern hence schools should raise their and help look into this state of affairs.
On the solution to solve this canker worm which is also already eating deep into the fabric of the society. Parents, government, and schools have to work hand in hand.
In this age and time, parents want their children to be reckoned with at the global level, therefore they should help in the creation of libraries in the homes and stock it with relevant books which will help the growth of their children and also monitor them in making good use of it. They should also once in a while , read with them. As the saying goes Charity begins from home once a child is not given the proper training he/she needs from the home, it will be difficult to learn outside the home.
Secondly, they should also be of help by enrolling their children in institutions with adequate learning facilities to boost both physical and intellectual development.
Schools should also strive in their capacity to provide well stocked and equipped libraries for both the students and their teachers. They should also introduce E-libraries which will make research easier for students and also re-orientate their librarians.
In conclusion, Government should also assist in creating more functional public libraries for the public to make use of so as to increase the popularity of libraries among citizens and also try and organize seminars and conferences to educate members of the public on the importance of library and benefits of making good use of it which will also go a long way in curbing the menace.