Written by Godfrey AKON

FG to introduce qualifying exams for librarians

Plans are underway to introduce professional qualifying examination for all library and information science, LIS, professionals in Nigeria.

Registrar of Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria, LRCN, Prof Michael Afolabi, made this announcement at a National workshop on Database Design and Management for Academic and Research libraries in University of Ibadan, Oyo state.

A statement by the spokesperson of LRCN, Mrs. Ngozi Oboh, quoted Afolabi as saying the examination is expected to start as necessary procedures are finalized, adding that librarians can only be inducted when they are successful in the professional examination.

“In addition to the possession of a degree in library and information science, applicants would be made to sit and be successful in the professional examination before they will be inducted. We will set standards that align with international best practices to ensure that librarianship practiced in Nigeria is at par with that, practiced all over the world,” he said.

Afolabi further warned that in the very near future, practitioners of library science profession who are not certified by LRCN will no longer be promoted at work.

He said fresh graduates, who are not successful in the professional qualifying examination, may not secure meaningful appointments in the library profession and then called on all LIS practitioners to get registered with Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria.

According to him, the registration of librarians and capacity building of the LIS professionals is meant to raise a team of seasoned librarians who will deliver optimal services in the sector.

He said this prompted the Council to also train librarians in the area of database design and management, saying that databases ensure data security, facilitate data sharing, and reduce data redundancy.

Afolabi expressed optimism that library services will begin to make meaningful contribution to businesses and the Gross Domestic Products, GDP, of Nigeria.

He said the world has entered the era in which the source of wealth and power is increasingly from information and human mental creativity as compared with physical resources.

“Thus global economy has become not only knowledge intensive but also transactional and extremely competitive. Because of the central place of information in national development as exemplified by the topmost economies of the world, Nigeria needs to mainstream libraries and information in her development agenda,” he said.

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