The Federal Ministry of Education Library Services Unit is charged with the provision of information for education, research, planning and recreation for effective and efficient service delivery. The Library provides access to all types of materials which contain credible and substantial information required for good government, national growth and development especially on education matters. Library is an invaluable component of education growth and development as it enhances teacher’s proficiency, supports students toward improved learning, scale-up development of employable skills and broadening of student’s horizon.
To make Federal Ministry of Education Library a special information resource centre capable of acquiring, storing, organizing and providing prompt and relevant information to assist in achieving the Ministry’s goals.
To promptly bring information seekers and users to relevant resource materials in whatever format (digital and /or analog) using relevant information and communication Technology (ICT) tools.
Indeed, provision of standard library is a game changer in the Nigerian education subsector as it plays a catalytic role by helping to:
i. build a reading culture in the population especially the children
ii. expand the country’s publishing industry, create more employment and by extension more wealth;
iii. encourage indigenous authors and reduce dumping of irrelevant works from the developed world;
iv. conserve Nigeria’s scare foreign exchange;
v. promote a literate and informed society capable of contributing to the growth and development of Nigeria; and
vi. embrace the current trend of information technology (e-books, internet)
C. FUNCTIONS OF THE LIBRARY:
Functions of Federal Ministry of Education Headquarters Library are:-
• Formulate relevant library development policies (acquisition policy etc.)
• Selection, evaluation, acquisition and organization of books, journals, government publications and library materials, based on an approved library policy classification scheme;
• Provision of library services (digital and or analog)
• Cataloging and classification of library books and materials;
• Provision of reference information services;
• Selective dissemination of information in line with the vision and mission of the parent Ministry;
• Publication of education handbook;
• Regular building human capacity of library personnel;
• promoting readers awareness and library promotion campaign;
• Indexing and abstracting of periodicals;
• Compilation of bibliographies and reading lists;
• supervision and constant maintenance of library stocks
• Co-ordination of the administrative and professional activities of library services in relationship with professional bodies and library associations (IFLA, LRCN, NLA, AGOL) , and
• Giving professional advice on library matters to the authorities of the Ministry.
The Library Unit has two Divisions which are:
• The Planning and Training Division, and
• The Monitoring and Quality Assurance Division.
E. FUNCTIONS OF PLANNING AND TRAINING
• Planning and development of libraries in the Unity Schools
• Planning and development of libraries in the Ministry’s Headquarters
• Formulation of School library policies
• Preparing budget for school library development and the Ministry’s Headquarters libraries
• Capacity building for all library staff for effective library management
• Organize workshops, seminars, meetings on issues related to library matters
• Develop and maintain specialized libraries for example Legal Unit
F. FUNCTIONS OF MONITORING AND QUALITY ASSURANCE DIVISION
• Formulate relevant policies suitable for use in all sectors of education:- Basic, Higher and Tertiary Education , etc
• Design, Coordinate and Implement programmes of interaction and cooperation among professional bodies and associations.
• Cooperation and participation in UNESCO activities most especially on the allocations of UNESCO coupons to pay for foreign books, copyright dues and subscriptions in the desire to equip school libraries and Ministry Headquarters Libraries with up-to-date relevant publications.
• Oversee the activities of the National Library of Nigeria (NLN)
• Monitoring library projects implementation to ensure that all works and services provided meet required standard.
• Undertake regular inspection of libraries in all Federal Unity Schools.
• Collaborate in the dissemination of information on Ministry’s services through the production of periodic publications such as library journals and newsletters.
• Evaluating performance and contributions of libraries at all Ministry’s headquarters and all Federal Unity School Libraries in the quality assurance
policies of the Ministry.
• Monitored and establish of Book Clubs in some Federal Unity Colleges and providing guidance for improved service delivery.
• Development of National Policy on Library and Information Systems.
• Development, production and distribution of School Library Manual to build capacity of 104 FGC libraries.
The unit is confronted with several challenges. These challenges
• Lack of current awareness materials like daily newspapers and weekly magazines.
• Inadequate staff and staff development programme
• Lack of internet connection in the Ministry’s headquarters library
• Inadequate library collection development
• Better funding to assist in library collection development
• Sponsorship of staff to relevant library training and capacity building programmes
• Request to Head of Civil Service to recruit librarians and library officers for the 104 FUC libraries.