Necessity they say is the mother of invention. There was the necessity to bring together library and information science students across different chapters in Nigeria as one body for the sake of networking, knowledge sharing and professional development.
Apart from that, there was the need to create an environment where library and information science students in Nigeria can update their knowledge in current trends in library and information science profession before graduation, get mentored by professionals in the field and foster genuine intellectual collaborations and partnerships among library and information science students globally.
It is on this note that the idea of a national body for library and information science students in Nigeria was birthed since 2015 and has been nursed till 12th April, 2019 at the prestigious university college Ibadan.
The conference which officially kicked-off on 12th April came after arrivals of delegates the penultimate day during which students were welcomed from different Citadels of learning in the country. The event was held at Abadina media resource center conference hall, university of Ibadan.
The national coordinator/convener; Comrade Solomon Akannam declared the event opened in his address after recounting efforts that have been put in for years just to have this national body and that its reality is an indelible achievement.
He went further to disclose that the association is working on a partnership project with the Students’ chapter of American Library Association of Emporia State University. The proposal of the partnership was presented during the American Library Association Conference held in New Orleans last year 2018.
However, he pleaded with Librarians and other information professionals to always support the Association as the body work towards developing individuals through series of programs, skills acquisition and others. He further pleaded with NLA, LRCN, NALISE and other affiliated bodies to show love to the profession by supporting her future.
Presenting the keynote on “The role of emerging librarians in the growth and development of library and information science profession in Nigeria in the 21stcentury”, Dr. Benedict Oladele, a former university librarian of university of Ibadan made the students understand that they have chosen the right career path.
He stressed that students should have no reason to worry as opportunities in library and information science field abound and keeps expanding especially with the infusion of ICT into the profession.
Dr John Ayodele Alonge, a member of AFLIA governing council, senior lecturer LARIS Dept. University of Ibadan and staff adviser to the association while addressing the students disclosed a mentorship programme organised by AFLIA known as international network of librarians and information professionals (INLIP).
The programme according to him is strategized in such a way that when a student registers he/she will be merged with a senior professional to be mentored in any area of library and information science circle which continues till the student develops to a reasonable standard. He therefore enjoined the students to go ahead and register before the end of the month through the official registration portal.
Prof. Oshiotse Andrew okwilagwe of LARIS Dept. University of Ibadan and managing director of Stirling-horden publisher’s Ltd advised the students to seek specialization in many other areas of library and information science especially in the field of Publishing. He added that they could come for their master’s degree in (MPCS) masters in publishing & copyright studies at university of Ibadan.
Other dignitaries in the event were prince H.A oshilalu ; a.g university librarian, Augustine university Epewho who presented a practical lecture on “ development and use of library software”, representative of NLA president; oyo state chairman of NLA Prof. Andrew Ogbilabu, Mr. Patrick, Mr.agwuPatrickuzodimma Head, Technical infrastructure development Kenneth Dikeh Library, University of Ibadanand General secretary NLA IT section including Prof. Iyabo Mabawonu who was the mother of the day.
The event continued with the presentation of the structure of the association by Mr. James Enamudu which was followed by launching of the maiden edition of NLISSA Magazine.
Other major events witnessed at the conference were oratory competition among students from kogi state polytechnic, UNN, Abubakar Tafawa Belewa University & university of Ibadan of which university of Ibadan carried the day followed by a debate between kogi state polytechnic and university of Ibadan. University of Ibadan students did not rest on their laurels as they persevered to overthrow the skilful debaters from kogi state polytechnic. A practical lecture on “conversion of paper or hard copy records into digital/electronic records by Mr. Patrick Agwu Uzodimma was also issued.
The climax of the event was the election of the first executive officers of NLISSA as Comrade Azeez Elijah Olawale from Federal University of Oye Ekiti (FUOYE) emerged victorious as the National President.
Other winners include: Allu Dorcas Ashesla; Vice President North-Central (Unijos), Henry Usenobong A.; Vice President South-South(Uniuyo), Adebisi Mayowa Peter; Vice President South-West (Unibadan), Ezebuilo Tobechukwu ;Vice President South-East(Unn), Udoh Imoh Isaiah ;General Secretary(Fuoye), Ngene Chidimma H.;Financial Secretary (Unn), Adewumi Idowu Paul;Public Relation Officer (Eksu).
Certificates of awards were presented to committee members who made significant efforts towards the success of the conference.