Information for national development, libraries as major stakeholders....Nkemdilim Osigwe Ph.d
Information has become a key resource for national development. Nations without income yielding natural resources can thrive profitably on the creation and transfer of information. Increasingly, nations are using and relying on information to gain competitive edge rather than just natural resources and cheap labour. However, a nation requires literate, educated and skilled manpower in order to generate, transfer and use information as the main grid of it’s economy. Literacy is central to most human, technological, economic and political developments. Literacy helps to give expression to creativity and innovations and is the main key to generating, applying and spreading knowledge. No country can foster development without a literate population. Multinational bodies are most unlikely to invest heavily in any country with low literacy levels anyway!
Libraries are all about literacy – reading, writing, gaining competence, skills and knowledge in every field. Whether the Libraries are in schools or in communities or in offices, prisons, hospitals, homes or in factories, the institution stands for information, knowledge and lifelong learning. For any nation to participate fully in the knowledge economy, adequate attention must be paid to libraries. Libraries most often signify that ‘thin line between civilization and barbarism’. Continuously evolving technologies have placed libraries on their toes as librarians now not only have to use these tools to disseminate information but also have to teach their user communities how to use them thereby inculcating inclusiveness and mass ‘education’.
Investing in libraries now will give communities and nations the backbone to learn, be literate, create, transfer and use information. This would grow the economy, create jobs and attract investments – national development! Ignoring libraries – leaving them dilapidated; underfunded and unrecognized is a sure step to retrogression and stunted national development! #libraries #literacy #informationfornationaldevelopment