Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Nnamdi Azikiwe Library of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Celebrates 2018 World Book and Copyright Day in Style

On April 23, 2018, Nnamdi Azikiwe Library of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka joined in the global celebration of UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day. As an event that essentially celebrates the existence of libraries, librarians and writers across the world, the University Librarian, Prof Chinwe N. Ezeani put together a few activities to make the celebration memorable not only for the University community but for Nsukka as a whole.
Giving her opening speech, Prof Ezeani emphasized the importance of reading in the life of every human being. She mentioned academic excellence, socialization skills and confidence as some of the benefits of reading.
To further appreciate the contribution of authors to the growth and development of libraries, authors, poets, filmmakers and musicians, Fidelis U. Okoro and Jeff Unaegbu were invited to take part in a book chat anchored by Assistant Librarian, Prince Jacon Igwe.
The authors shared their experiences of how reading and books generally have shaped their careers. A senior lecturer in the Department of English and Literary Studies, UNN and a playwright, Okoro lamented how the tradition of storytelling and folktales are dying across Africa today. According to him, we are not Europeans and we are not full Africans; so, that leaves us nowhere. He urged that, as much as books which contain texts are important, we can’t overlook the essence of oral tradition in our lives. He also discussed how film and television are altering the reading culture in Nigeria, most times negatively. He mentioned reality TV shows like Big Brother Naija which has become the craze of most young people in the country but hardly contributes to intellectual growth.
A cinematographer at the Institute of African Studies, UNN, Unaegbu spoke about the relationship between history and literature. There is no mistaking the influence of history on his writing. Confirming this, he said he makes it a point of duty in his work to not fake history, to present history the way things happened despite whatever creative embellishment he might use. He also commented on the sense of direction of up-and-coming writers in Nigeria, saying they are having their own voice. According to him, these voices are unique and are very much different from those of Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe, and that they are being authentic means they can appeal to a wide range of audience. Furthermore, he said that it does not help creativity and reading when people judge books by their places of publication and not by their contents.
The audience was also treated to short lectures by Anthony Izuchukwu, a lecturer in the Department of Library and Information Science, UNN who talked about the application of ICT to improve lifelong learning.
Dr Harriet U. Igbo, an academic librarian in the library, talked about the need to inculcate ‘library mentality’ which she described as the urge to always use the library. She also urged staff and students at the event to avoid becoming aliterates, a word that describes people who are unwilling to read, even though they have all it takes to do so.

You can check out highlights from the event on the Library’s YouTube channel.
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Location: Nsukka, Nigeria
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