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Stakeholders advocate more public libraries to encourage reading, boost learning


Stakeholders have called on Federal and state governments to establish more libraries in order to revive the dwindling culture of reading and facilitate easy access to books.

The charge was made at the second edition of world book Day celebration organised by leadout education foundation (LOUTEF) in Lagos and themed, ‘Reading for value creation and transformation.’ 

Founder, Booktent resources, Emmanuel Okoro, described the lack of public libraries, which results in poor access to books, as one of the dilemmas of the nation’s education system. He said there were still children who are struggling to have access to books.

“I took a survey from Lekki-roundabout to Epe, we have only two libraries that I could locate and one of them has been refurbished and being used as Lagos State residents registration agency (LASRRA) office. The other library is at Epe. Now if you want people to read and there are no libraries, no functional book clubs, how would the people read?”


Founder, LOUTEF, Irene Udosen explained that the event was organised to help students find a connection between their present and future aspirations and give them a purpose to read.

“Undeniably, there is a dwindling reading culture. It’s our passion to see qualitative and knowledge-driven education against paper qualification-driven education, as we raise competent and productive individuals in our society and Africa at large,” Udosen said.

She added that for a productive education, “students must go back to the book,” describing reading as an investment which adds to the lives of students and their futures.

She added that achieving a holistic education was everyone’s responsibility and urged Nigerians to be positive influence to young people around them.

“Do not encourage malpractice, let’s join hands to resuscitate our education, other than join saboteurs to destroy it. With the younger generation, there is hope. So, let’s be hopeful,” she said.

Corporate communications manager, Nosak group, Kenneth Adejumoh, encouraged students to look beyond the event and be closer to their books than other frivolous engagement in the society “because there is value in books.

“Any child who wants to succeed must be close to the books. We need to revamp our library system, the government should go back to the system of having libraries, even in schools, there should be deliberate efforts for students to go there and consult books in their areas of passion, interest and study.”

Apart from the donation of books, the core objective of the foundation, spurring students back to academic responsibility, was demonstrated through a reading session. There was also a movie screening which focused on academic excellence, in a bid to instill the culture of reading.

The event brought over 400 students from two schools, King Ado and Isale Eko secondary schools, both in Lagos Island, to learn the benefits of reading.


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