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Suggestions for Improving the Reading Culture in Lagos

Presented to His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor, Lagos State

And

Hon Idowu Obasa, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly

At the World Book Day 2023 and Lagos Book Walk and Book Year flag off, April 27, 2023

By the Network of Book Clubs and Reading Culture Promoters in Nigeria, NBRP

(On behalf of all other book ecosystem players)

(c) Network of Book Clubs and Reading Culture Promoters in Nigeria, 2023.

Published for the Network of Book Clubs and Reading Prometers in Nigeria by:

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ISBN:

 

Preamble

This charter is the outcome of decades of work in the reading promotions field in Lagos and Nigeria, several months of deep reflection, and two specific stakeholder engagements.

It is designed to get the entire Lagos society to queue behind the cause of the book – its promotion, patronage and use – reading for its varied pleasures and purposes.

This ‘Charter of Demands’ relates to improving the lot of books in the state through the provision of well-equipped libraries and accompanying reading infrastructure – complete with books and a conducive atmosphere for reading them – and creating and encouraging reading and other support activities around libraries and readers.

Methodology

Putting this charter together involved discussions. inputs consultation and collaboration NBRP has had with a wide variety of partners and stakeholders, including but not limited to:

  1. Nigerian Book Fair Trust
  2. Association of Nigerian Authors, Lagos
  3. Nigerian Publishers Association
  4. Nigerian Booksellers Association
  5. Nigerian Library Association
  6. National Library of Nigeria
  7. Nigerian Copyright Commission
  8. Committee for Relevant Art
  9. Accessible Publishing
  10. com
  11. Laterna Ventures

And of course, all the constituent members of the Network of the Book Clubs and Reading Promoters in Nigeria, NBRP that are listed in the appendix.

The Proposals

  1. Signalling: We propose the Commencement of The Governor Reads, an annual reading promotions event where the Governor personally participates in a much advertised and well attended reading session.
  2. Revival and Outreach activities: We propose the launch and introduction of a highly intensive Calling Readers Back Re-Awakening Initiative to be driven by His Excellency, The Governor and the Local Government and LCDA Chairpersons, working in concert with the relevant MDAs, the Library Board, Book Clubs and other stakeholders in the book ecosystem. This programme should be complemented by Extensive Year-long Outreach Activities in which libraries and book clubs are supported with resources to carry out readership promotions activities and competitions within communities and schools.
  3. Cradling: Introducing very visible Mini-libraries/Book shelves in all Lagos State Government run health facilities that provide maternity care where pre and ante natal care patients would be constantly encouraged to read to their babies from the womb to the cradle.
  4. School time reading sessions and personnel: Enforcing a reading hour in all Lagos public schools complete with Read Aloud and Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) sessions. This should be complemented by the establishment, furnishing and digitizing of more public schools’ libraries in the state. There should also be the recruitment of professional literacy teachers and school librarians for public schools in the state, beginning with the Model Schools as well as very deliberate curriculum activity to boost early child literacy development.
  5. Infrastructure enhancement and provision: Current efforts at renovating, refurbishing and enhancing libraries capacity in Lagos State are commendable. However, given the scope of the challenge, a lot more needs to be done. Every facility requiring an upgrade at the state and local government level should be expeditiously fixed, alongside the building and kitting of new libraries. Given the demands of population size vis a vis current installed user capacity, the goal should be to have at least two functional state-run libraries per LGA/LCDA with the LGAs/LCDAs also setting up another two libraries/reading centres each. At the same time, measures should be put in place to guarantee an annual replenishment of reading materials stock in the libraries as well as the availability of functional e-reading infrastructure for a complement of the paper and digital reading modes.
  6. ‘Foot soldiers’: Book Clubs are important in sustaining grassroots reading enhancement activities and to critically guarantee life-long learning in our SMART city-state setting. It is therefore most important that the state supports and helps facilitate the emergence of more and more book clubs in neighbourhoods, and in particular book clubs operating in, and alongside each public library in the state. NBRP has already commenced a scheme in this regard with the National Library of Nigeria, the Nigerian Library Association as well as the Abak Divisional Library in Akwa Ibom State and the experience has been quite enriching.
  7. Outside Assistance: We are canvassing a stronger role for Corporates, Communities, Philanthropists and the donor community in the readership promotion space. In this the example of GTBank in giving renewed life to the Herbert Macaulay Library is already notable.
  8. Longer term thrust: We canvass a broader commitment to driving the proposals contained here and others that would subsequently emanate, within at least a ten-year strategic plan period. This would give ample room for deepening the sustainability structures and optimizing peak performance and achievement.
  9. Global status: Part of our broader thinking at the moment is that after about two years of driving these Enhanced Readership Promotion Initiatives in Lagos, the city should formally bid to become UNESCO World Book Capital.
  10. New Orientation: ‘Those the book has helped to get to the peak of their ambition or career should look around them and give back.’

Appendix

Members of the Network of Book Clubs and Reading Culture Promoters in Nigeria, NBRP

  1. Aba Book Club, Aba, Abia State
  2. Abak Book Club, Akwa Ibom State
  3. African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, FCT
  4. African Writers Tribe, Lagos
  5. Aimee’s Library, Lagos
  6. Alrange Book Club, Lagos
  7. Arepo Book Club, Ogun State
  8. Asaba Reading Club, Delta State
  9. Atiba Book Club, Oyo State
  10. Awka Literary Society, Anambra State
  11. Bibliotheque Nigeria, Lagos
  12. Blueprint Book Club
  13. Bookause Nigeria, Lagos
  14. Bookaddict, Lagos
  15. Books and Our Imagination, Lagos
  16. Bookworm Café, Lagos
  17. CRIMMD Free Public Library Readers Club, Lagos
  18. CSS Bookshops Book Club, Lagos
  19. Eagle Nest Book Club
  20. Eket Book Club, Akwa Ibom
  21. Eriata Centre for Literary, Educational and Entrepreneurial Development, Lagos
  22. FOURTEEN ZERO TWO BOOKLOUNGE INITIATIVE, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State 
  23. Heal the World and Care for People Initiative
  24. Ibadan Book Club, Oyo State
  25. Ignite Africa Leadership Foundation, Lagos
  26. iRead Afrika Foundation, Lagos
  27. iRead Mobile Library Network, Lagos
  28. Jegglo Foundation, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
  29. Kaynosh Book Club, Lagos
  30. Kids Literary Circle
  31. Kings Place Kiddies Book Club
  32. Lafest Readers Club, Lagos
  33. Lami’s Memoirs Book Club, Lagos
  34. Laterna Bookshop Book Club, Lagos
  35. Lead Out Educational Foundation, Lagos
  36. Lekki Book Club, Lagos
  37. LightRays Books and Reading Society, Delta State
  38. Literary Authors Cooperative Multi-Purpose Society, Lagos
  39. MUNA Book Club
  40. Naija Book Club
  41. Nigerian Literary Society, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
  42. Oakhill Book Club
  43. Oleh Book Club, Delta State
  44. Olive Book Club
  45. OpenWay Reading Awareness Initiative, Lagos
  46. Osogbo Book Club, Osun State
  47. Pens and Voices Book Club, Enugu
  48. Pyramid Educational Advancement Foundation, Lagos
  49. Radiant Impact Book Club
  50. Raffia City Book Club, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom
  51. Readland Leadership Academy, Lagos
  52. Read2Lead4Africa Book Club
  53. Read2Me Mobile Library
  54. Redila Book Club, Uyo, Akwa Ibom
  55. Seed of Greatness Resources, Lagos
  56. Sheffa Book Club, Lagos
  57. Smart Book Club, Lagos
  58. Too Ventures Book Club, Gwagwalada, FCT
  59. Tolulope Book Club, Ibadan, Oyo State
  60. Uyo Book Club, Akwa Ibom
  61. Warri Book Club, Delta State
  62. Writers-in-Motion, Lagos
  63. Yerwa Book Club, Maiduguri, Borno State

Feedback and Inquiries:

Network of Book Clubs and Reading Culture Promoters in Nigeria, NBRP

4, Ajumobi Olorunoje St,

Ikeja, Lagos

www.nbrp.org.ng

info@nbrp.org.ng

 

 

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