NUC Spends N500M to Revive Virtual Library ProjectNational Universities Commission (NUC) has turned on its national virtual library project, the online digital library to stem the dwindling standard of university education but access to the library remains a major challenge, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek can now report.
The national virtual library project established in 2001 as one of the many strategies to bolster the quality of teaching, learning and research in Nigerian schools has operated in fits and starts largely due to problems of connectivity, access and poor public power supply.
In the absence of both virtual and equipped physical libraries, Nigerian higher institutions are producing army of half baked graduates who are out of touch with the knowledge economy.
Worried by the situation, the NUC is reactivating the virtual library project with subscription to more than 7,000 titles of journals in 13 disciplines. The NUC would cough out more than N500 million for subscriptions to the e-books and e-journals.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered that the virtual library is expected to address the deplorable conditions of most university libraries in Nigeria.
Apart from inadequate funding, most university libraries in Nigeria have very few current books, journals, and other reading resources; staff shortages; deteriorating facilities; inadequate equipment and even library buildings.
With virtual library, NUC is hoping to bolster the quality of academic library collections enabling staff and students access databases for teaching and research.
The online digital library was designed and deployed with support and funding from the Education Trust Fund (ETF), UNESCO and the Japanese government.
The goal is to ensure that user (subscribers) have the latest publications of the highest calibre in their respective fields (the Arts, Medical Sciences, Pure Science, Social Sciences, Technology, etc...) to facilitate teaching, research and learning.
It also aims to ensure that Nigeria universities have the highest and latest publications in various fields to facilitate teaching, research and learning.
It is virtual because it is an electronically networked library in which the user enjoys the comfort of library facilities on the internet without going to a library.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek gathered there are many roadblocks to the implementation of the project including lack of reliable telecommunication infrastructure in some places and high cost of connectivity in another.
There are also problems of high cost of computer hardware as well as the country’s notoriously unreliable power supply.