THE NIGERIAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION IN BRIEF: 1962 – 2017
The Nigerian Library Association (NLA) started as a Division of the West African Library Association (WALA). WALA was established in 1954 as an offshoot after a UNESCO seminar on the Development of Public Libraries in Africa held at Ibadan in 1953. With the political independence from colonial rule of Anglophone West African countries in the late 1950s and early 1960s, WALA national Divisions transformed into National Library Associations of their respective countries, thus giving birth to the Nigerian Library Association (NLA) in 1962.
The objectives of the Nigerian Library Association include the following:
- To unite persons interested in Libraries, Librarianship and Information services;
- To safeguard and promote the professional interests of librarians;
- To promote the establishment and development of libraries and information centers;
- To watch legislation affecting libraries and assist in the promotion of such legislation as may be
- To promote and encourage bibliographical study, research and library cooperation and;
- To do all lawful things as are incidental and conducive to the attainment of the above objectives.
considered necessary for the establishment, regulation and management of libraries within Nigeria;
The supreme organ of the Nigerian Library Association is the Council which consists of the Executive Committee, eight elected Councilors, Chairmen of all State Chapters and the Federal Capital Territory as well as Chairmen of special interest groups (Sections).
Individual members of the Association now numbering about 5,000 drawn from various types of libraries, would usually belong, in the first instance, to one of the 37 States/FCT chapters or/and one or more of the thirteen special interest groups. The thirteen special interest groups currently in existence are:
- Academic and Research Libraries (ARL)
- Association of Government Libraries (AGOL)
- Association of News Media Librarians of Nigeria (ANLON)
- Association of Women Librarians in Nigeria (AWLIN)
- Cataloguing, Classification and Indexing (CAT & CLASS)
- Nigerian Association of Law Libraries (NALL)
- National Association of Library & Information Science Educators (NALISE)
- Public Libraries Section(PLS)
- Information Technology Section (ITS)
- Nigerian School Library Association (NSLA)
- Association of Libraries for Visually Handicapped (ALVH)
- Preservation and Conservation Section (PCS)
- Medical Libraries Section (MDLS)
Prior to its independence, the Nigerian Division within WALA had laid the foundation for a professional association, which worked actively to influence the Nigerian Government to promote library development in the country. To date, it has to its credit the following notable achievements:
1. The Nigerian Division of WALA successfully made a proposal for a National Library Policy, which became the blueprint for early library development and led to the inauguration of the Library Advisory Committee in 1958. This Committee became the forum for the discussion of library development at the national level and gave advice on library matters and conditions of service for librarians in the Federal Civil Service.
2. The Nigerian Library Association made representation to Government for the establishment of the National Library of Nigeria and the National Library Act of 1962.
3. The Association was instrumental in securing government support for the professional education and training of library personnel leading to the establishment of the Institute of Librarianship at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
4. The promulgation of the Librarians’ (Registration, etc) Council of Nigeria (LRCN) Decree
in June 1995 and the subsequent inauguration of the Council by the Honourable Minister of Education, Professor Borishade on 28th May, 2002.
5. The Association successfully influenced the government in inaugurating the LRCN in May, 2002 to enable it perform its stipulated functions of regulating the practice of the Library and Information profession in the country.
6. Today, the NLA has a chapter in each State as well as the Federal Capital Territory. Each Similarly, the Association has thirteen registered subject and professional sections, each looking after its own interest group.
7. The NLA has successfully mobilized its members to be aware of the global changes in the library and information sector by encouraging training and retraining in Information and Communication Technology
8. has its own chairman and local administration.