The Librarians Registration Council of Nigeria, (LRCN) has called on the National Information Technology Development Agency to work with local software developers in Nigeria to develop user-friendly mobile applications for library services in the country.

The council said technology has revolutionized the daily lives of individuals and library service should not be an exemption where service could be delivered to users and students on any Smartphone or other internet enabled devices, which would make the library users stay connected to library services irrespective of their location.

This view was expressed by the Registrar/CEO of the Council, Prof. Michael Afolabi when he led members of his management team to NITDA on a courtesy visit.

He emphasised the importance of NITDA as “a very strategic stakeholder which has made it imperative for LRCN to call on NITDA for exchange of views on how to fast track the ongoing collaborations between the two Organisations.

“To us NITDA is a world class intervention Agency in the ICT sector, intervening remarkably in different sectors of the nation’s economy. We are glad that your organisation has emerged an international brand, exporting best practices”, he stated.

He said the council is developing standards for different categories of libraries in Nigeria and has commenced the review and has set standards for school libraries in Nigeria; adding that the commission is partnering with a number of governmental and nongovernmental organisations in order to make a meaningful contribution to the educational sector.

He urged the Agency to finalize work on the e-library standards it formulated and set the machinery in motion to commence the advocacy for the standards so that the general public would understand and benefit from this policy.

“On our part, we have gradually commenced a silent advocacy to create awareness about the availability of new standards for e-libraries in Nigeria. Our Stakeholders often receive this news with excitement”.

In his response to the requests made by the Council, the NITDA Acting Director General, Dr. Vincent Olatunji assured his guests that the Agency is committed to enhance the relationship that exist between the two organisations adding that  NITDA’s mandate empowers it to intervene on other  sectors and education is one of the sectors.

“It is on this note we want to change the traditional outlook of our libraries to virtual libraries. Last week we commissioned the Ekiti State University and by October, will be commissioning in Yola. We have awarded contracts for eight virtual libraries this year.

He said the Agency would work with other stakeholders in the software sub sector of the ICT industry to come up with applications for e-library. “Our focus is to develop homegrown Software solutions that are peculiar to us. We will work with the Institute of Software Practitioner of Nigeria, (ISPON), Young Innovators of Nigeria, (YIN) and our Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) which will look into the request for developing applications on e-library.

The NITDA head of Corporate Affairs, Hajiya Hadiza Umar advised the council to also register the e-libraries in the country and to also avail the Agency with the data of all government libraries in the country in order to upgrade them to e-libraries.