The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Library of Nigeria (NLN), Professor Chinwe Anunobi, has said that improved investment in public library can fast track attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.

She also said that public library remains the poor man’s university, a learning and social place of inclusivity.

Anunobi stated this at the sixth Conference of the National Librarian and Directors, Chairmen of Boards of Public Libraries, on Tuesday in Bauchi.

According to her, a public library is a place where barriers to greater heights and ceilings to everybody’s potential are shattered.

“The condition of public libraries speaks loudly of the place of knowledge and education in the nation’s development plan.

“I must emphasise at this point that investment in our public libraries remained a viable means and gateway to achieving 17 SDG goals in our dear country Nigeria.

“The national library can only achieve the mission of enhanced literacy, reading, knowledge provision and information access if we work together with state governments and leaders of public libraries.

“We recognise that literacy is not merely the ability to read and write but a gateway to opportunity, empowerment, and social inclusion all revolving around the 17 SDG goals,” she said.

Anunobi also lauded the Bauchi state governor for his support and sponsorship of the conference.

The Bauchi Commissioner for Education, Dr Jamila Dahiru, described public libraries as more than repositories of knowledge, rather dynamic hubs for learning, community engagement and social transformation.

“They provide inclusive access to information, promote literacy and lifelong learning, support education and empower citizens to participate in the democratic process.

“It is worth noting here that in addition to the state library and the Azare zonal library, the governor has approved the extension of such libraries in our two other zones.

“We have over 100 libraries in junior and senior secondary schools in the state,” she said.

Gov. Bala Mohammed said that the Bauchi State Library achieved remarkable milestones under his administration.

Represented by Suleiman Abubakar, the Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly, Mohammed said that he approved establishment of two new zonal public libraries in Alkaleri and Ningi, in addition to the existing one in Azare.

According to him, the expansion aims to promote reading culture and support education to ensure that the citizens have access to information and resources to improve their lives.

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