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       W.O. MOKOGWU

 There are as many functions of the
library as there are library users and
         types of the library
Libraries and Information
 The role which Libraries play in the information
 revolution is obvious. Whether we like it or not there
 is now a converging of libraries and computer services.
 This convergence brings information professionals
 together from different professional disciplines. Their
 combined skills provide a sound basis for moving
 forward with an integrated infrastructure and can
 underpin the sort of initiatives that are essential to
 Libraries and General Education
(Learning and Skill Development)
        I am here restricting the discussion to general
    education at lower levels primary and secondary. I will
    discuss tertiary and university education latter.
    Libraries facilitate the developing concept of a
    learning society in which the individual has greater
    leisure time while simultaneously being increasingly
    responsible for his or her own education and
Libraries and development of
 Libraries encourage children’s (and near illiterates
 Adults’) interest in books and reading through
 different regular activities such as story hours, reciting
 of poems, essay competitions etc. Persons who have
 never seen the four walls of a class room have read for
 their GCE Ordinary/Advance Levels in community
 libraries and eventually becoming University
Libraries provide support for
children in the School.
   Libraries have traditionally encouraged older children,
   young people and students to use their facilities and
   resources for the improvement of their education.
Libraries and skill Development
 Involvement in Library projects has encouraged
 younger people to take up trainings or learning
 opportunities mostly in computing or information
 technology. Others have developed skills in local
 history research.
Libraries and Personal
 Empowerment and Confidence. Since information is
 so central to library services, it is not surprising that
 the development of specialist and pro-active
 information services has an empowering effect-
 knowledge, as we know, is power. The difference today
 between economically and technologically advanced
 countries and poor countries is a matter of the quality
 and quantity of information at their disposal. And so
 it is with individuals
Libraries and Development of
Community Links
 Community here refers to different types of grouping –
 the university community is an example. The Library
 creates non – discriminating spaces for people to be.
 There are no professors section, academics section,
 administrators sections, professionals section etc in
 the Library. The Library is an agent of helping people
 become part of the community. Libraries have the
 power to strengthen existing groups, networks,
 voluntary commitment and business connections.
Keeping Local Culture and Identity
 Libraries, rooted as they are in neighbourhoods of all
 kinds are focal points and natural guardians of local
 identity and culture. Library initiative play important
 role in documenting and validating local history and
Libraries, Health and Wellbeing:
 Leisure, activity and feeling good. The therapeutic
 effect of reading has for long been recognized. No.
 other institution provides “active leisure” more than
 the library, it enriches the leisure time of many people.
 In fact it is said that Libraries can offer alternatives and
 replacement for those who do not work.
 We have been talking of libraries generally but I know
 that any library irrespective of type performs the
 functions thus far enumerated.

 However, I suspect that the organizers of this Training
 Workshop who assigned the Topic have in mind
 Benson Idahosa University Library.
What are the functions of BIU
 The general part of the questions has been answered.
 Let us now attempt the specifics.

 Kumar, Krishan (1996) reminds us that a University
 Library is a part of a University setup. Therefore it
 exists to serve the objectives of its parent organization.
 The University Library programmes must support or
 facilitate the University’s total programme. In other
 words, a University Library should aim to advance the
 functions of its University. It should reflect the
 character of the University.
Kumar goes on to list these
University Libraries functions as
the facilitation of
 Teaching
 Research
 Publication
 Extension programmes
 Administration and Management functions
Other functions.
 All these are the basic functions of the University and
  ipso facto that of the University Library.
  But Richard Biddiscombe (2000) of the University of
  Birmingham tries to delineate the functions in another
  fashion which I like. He talks of functions such as:
 Learning Support: Course Management. Developing a
  course of study, deciding on research programmes,
  exploitation of databases and web interfaces etc.
 Quality Assessment. Libraries input in Assessment
  visitation of all University programmes (involvement
  of the library in the recent accreditation programmes).
 IT Support Planning: Provision of library materials;
  ensuring access to information databases, establishing
  adequate numbers of computer work places.
 IT Skill Provision and Enhancements: User education;
  enhancement of learning process, integrating
  information resources and technology into the
 Research Support: Research training, research
  assessment exercises; identifying research collections;
  accessibility of research collection.
 Over the years, the library has been a known agent of
 change. From parchment to Tablets to papyrus to
 print to electronic – the library does not get ruffled.

 It accepts and accommodates change. And so, the
 current wave of change blowing across BIU is accepted
 and accommodated by the library; after all, libraries
 were established to produce social change and to
 produce value.
Thank you and God
bless you all. AMEN!

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