An academic library is one that is attached to a higher education institution and serves two complementary purposes: to support the curriculum, and to support the research of the university faculty and students.
As the definition entails, the library in any higher institutions not only complements the class room study but also aids the research that are done by the students and teachers in the schools.
The libraries provide various services to both students and lecturers through the provision of textbooks, parallel studies, reference books and periodicals.
The importance of school library can not be over emphasized as it impacts positively on the academic achievement of the students and facilitate the work of the lecturers in ensuring that each student has equitable access to resources, irrespective of home opportunities or constraints.
Due to the great impact of the library to the students and lecturers alike, the federal government through the Tertiary Trust Fund(TETFund) has provided interventions to public tertiary institutions in the county by the provision of books, periodicals, equipment and other reading resources.
The TETFund Library Development Intervention was intended to ensure availability of books, periodicals, equipment and other reading resources in the libraries of public tertiary educational institutions with emphasis being placed on e-resources in line.
Just recently, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro revealed that as at January 2019, N16,101,705,355.311 has been disbursed to Universities for the purpose of making their libraries well equipped for learning and research.
Also, N10,783,805,000 was also disbursed to polytechnics while N10,268,585,100 was disbursed by the Fund to Colleges of Education for this same purpose.
Beyond the provision of books, periodicals, equipment and other reading resources, TETFund has also aided in the construction and reconstruction of libraries, all in the bid to ensure that the quality of education and research in the public tertiary institutions improves.
For example, in 2016, TETFund offered to rebuild the main library of the University of Jos, UniJos which was razed down by fire.
The institution’s main library complex housing learning resources of six faculties was burnt down during a fire incident on October 8, 2016.
The library housed books, many computers and offices of two faculties and several departments.
The then Executive Secretary of the Fund, Dr. Abdullahi Baffa, after the inferno had immediately led a team of building expert on an assessment visit to the site in Jos as well as paid a visit to the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Sebastian Maimako, revealing that the Fund will take full responsibility of reconstructing the burnt library to bring back its lost glory.
Baffa who described the fire incident as “a sad and gory moment”, as the library is “the heart-beat of every institution of learning”, explained that one of the mandates of the Fund was to ensure the provision of infrastructure for teaching and learning, training of lecturers and funding for researches among other things.
Besides rebuilding the structure, Baffa had added that the Fund will ensure that the facility will be fully equipped with all the necessary working tools.
“TETFund are going to support the University which is one of our mandates to ensure we returned it back to its former stage,” he had said.
Consequently, in 2017, the Federal Government, through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, revealed the award of N720m to renovate the burnt library complex of the school. The work has been going on is near completion.
Bogoro during his visit to the citadel of learning in June this year, said that the Federal Government would soon release money for the completion of the institution’s library reconstruction project in view of its relevance to academic activities.
The Executive Secretary stated that the university had done “marvelously well in the areas of research and development.” Bogoro, who spoke recently after a tour of ongoing projects at the permanent site of the institution along Bauchi road, said that he was impressed with the institution’s prudence in the management of limited resources.
“The structures are not only massive but of high quality by any engineering standard,” he had said.
The Vice Chancellor of the School, Prof Maimako had expressed appreciation to the federal government through the TEFUND secretary, adding that the completion of the library will help the educational growth of the school.
TETFund’s dedication to library development in the country’s educational institutions is undaunted. It will be recalled that in 2014, the Fund had allocated a whopping sum of N23.84 billion to all government-owned tertiary institutions in the country for library development.
This, the then chairman of the Board of Trustees( BoT) of TETFund, Dr. Musa Babayo had disclosed then was to ensure that public schools do not lack when it comes to books and resource materials for research.
Babayo had also added that the fund had proved over the years to be a veritable source of guaranteed interventions at tertiary level of education of which library development is not an exception.
According to him, “the major objectives of TETFund is to ensure that its intervention programme build a critical mass of high quality facilities and skilled manpower that can compete globally and positively contribute towards the attainment of the government’s transformation agenda for national development.
“It is our hope that with the strengthening of e-library resources, our collective efforts would support tertiary institutions to be among the highly rated institutions in the world in line with the vision of the Fund.”
He noted that TETFund recognised the importance of library and librarians in facilitating and enhancing teaching and research activities in the tertiary institutions.
There is no doubt that the Fund has done exceedingly well in the library development in all tertiary institutions in the country. TETFund’s presence has continued to be felt in every public tertiary institutions in the country.
Moreso, with the vibrant executive secretary who, has pledged to ensure transparency and effective management of the Fund in order to transform the nation’s tertiary institutions, many more development is yet to come.
Bogoro has always pledged to ensure that TETFund continues to contribute to restoring the glory of tertiary institutions in Nigeria through numerous interventions, in infrastructure development, academic staff training and development, journal and book development, among others.
The executive secretary has also stated that with the policies on ground in the Fund, there was no excuse for substandard TETFund projects, insisting that only the best quality infrastructure would be sponsored by the Fund.
The TETFund Boss has stated that as part of his six- point agenda, he was prepared to uplift the welfare of staff intellectually, through capacity building as well as improved condition of service to give every member of staff a sense of belonging.
He said the Fund was expanding its partnership internationally on capacity building of staff, with a view to equipping them to confidently face the challenges of their daily work schedule.
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