THE National Library of Nigeria has a total stock of over 10 million materials in its holding, National Librarian and Chief Executive Officer of National Library of Nigeria (NLN), Professor Chinwe Veronica Anunobi, has revealed.
This is just as the National Library of Nigeria and its Bulgaria counterpart, known as St. St. Cyril and Methodius National Library of the Republic of Bulgaria, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at boosting already existing forms of cultural exchange.
The Memorandum of Understanding, between the two national libraries was signed by the national librarians of Nigeria and Bulgaria, Professor Chinwe Veronica Anunobi and Associate Professor Krasimira Aleksandrova, respectively in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Head of Public Relations, National Library of Nigeria, Mr Vershima Orvell-Dio, who accompanied Anunobi on the visit, told Nigerian Tribune that the MoU would help deepen cultural and bilateral ties between Nigeria and Bulgaria, which established diplomatic relations since 1964.
The head of the Digitisation Project, Mrs Christiana Okwuduba was also on the visit.
Speaking during the ceremony, Professor Anunobi, who led a delegation of three from Nigeria, thanked the Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Yanko Yordanov, for facilitating and nurturing the processes that culminated in the historic signing of the MoU that would facilitate the sharing of resources between the two countries in order not just to deepen cross cultural relations but to also expand the vista of librarianship practice across geographical borders.
According to Anunobi, “each national library is unique to itself, be it among other libraries in the particular country. I therefore see this relationship as affording us a peep into what your national library is doing that we can learn from, and of course we shall gladly share with you, what we are doing and how we are doing it.”
While noting that the National Library of Nigeria has a total stock of over 10 million materials in its holding, Anunobi spoke of other services being rendered, apart from activities that promote the inculcation of a positive reading habit in Nigeria.
She said the library is responsible for the collection of legal deposit materials, administration of international standard numbers, bibliographic control which results in the publication of a serial known as the ‘National Bibliography of Nigeria,’ which captures all books published in Nigeria.
Other services, according to Anunobi, include a virtual library that makes it possible for people to access materials irrespective of their location and time.
Speaking earlier, Associate Professor Aleksandrova who warmly welcomed her guests, thanked Professor Anunobi for being able to make time to visit the National Library of Bulgaria.
Briefing her guests about the Bulgarian National Library, Aleksandrova stated that the library, which was established some 140 years ago, moved into its present and permanent building in 1953 and has over eight million books, 1,500 original manuscripts from 11th to the 19th centuries.
She also stated that there had been an upsurge of readers’ visit to the library, some days up to 300 readers seating.
Aleksandrova, who disclosed that they have signed over 20 MOUs with different countries, further stated that the library “is deploying so much technology in the preservation of its resources and that she was glad for the burgeoning relationship with Nigeria in that regard.
The Nigerian delegation was later taken on a guided tour of the Bulgarian National Library facilities including the digitisation studios, healing and restoration laboratories, archives, Nigerian corner as well as the storage rooms.
The delegation also participated in a workshop on the theme, ‘Preservation of the Literary Heritage’ and they also paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Culture and the Ivan Vazov Library in Plovdiv.
Meanwhile, an earlier scheduled visit to the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies was later called off, while the management of the university also met with the Nigerian delegation at the National Library of Bulgaria.