Auchi Polytechnic was honoured today to play host to a rare gathering of academic titans. It was indeed an assemblage of the crème de la crème in the field of Library Science as the Nigerian Library Association (NLA) National Conference got underway in our great Institution. The theme for this year’s conference is: “Library and Information Services for National Development: Issues and Prospects”. A timely theme to celebrate the association’s 60th anniversary and also at this crucial point of our nation’s development I must say. I warmly welcome all the distinguished personalities and participants in this year’s conference and wish you all an engaging time of intellectual tangle.
I want to specially salute Prof. Emeritus Joshua Unuigboje Aisiku (Ara of Ora Kingdom and Oje Designate of Ora Kingdom and Patron NLA Edo State Chapter for gracing this year’s conference with his presence. The keynote speaker Prof. M.A. Izibili of the Department of Philosophy, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, who delivered a moving speech and Prof. Sam Ehimigbai Ifidon, an erudite and global scholar of international repute and the pioneer Chief Librarian of Auchi Polytechnic. An Enigma indeed in the field of Library Science. I use this opportunity to also commend Dr. Tony Obaseki, the Edo State Chapter Chairman. I also salute the zeal and commitment of the Chief Librarian of Auchi Polytechnic Mrs. Zainab Haruna, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the entire staff of the Library unit for their work towards the success of the conference.
As I pointed out in my opening remarks, libraries are gateways to knowledge and culture in a manner that they play a fundamental role in any society; Nigeria inclusive. In our fast changing world, libraries are crucial such that the resources and services they offer are generators of opportunities. These opportunities include those of learning, eradication of illiteracy, incubation centres for throwing up new ideas that are a requirement for any society desirous of creativity and innovation. In addition, libraries are depositories of authenticated knowledge discovered and recorded by previous generations and these knowledge can only be accessed through libraries. Libraries by this token make the advancement of research and human knowledge possible. To this end, our Department of Library and Information Science will kickstart the National Diploma (ND) programme in the 2022/2023 academic session. This will change the narrative in our drive to revive reading culture once more in Nigeria.
– Auchi Polytechnic Rector