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Teacher Librarian

Teacher Librarian

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Published by: ifezema321 on Apr 08, 2009
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06/02/2010

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STRATEGIES FOR PROMOTION OF READING CULTUREAMONG NIGERIAN CHILDREN BY TEACHER-LIBRARIAN
 
ByIfeanyi J. Ezema.Librarian, Nnamdi Azikiwe LibraryUniversity of Nigeria, Nsukka.ANDEkere, Justina N.Librarian, Nnamdi Azikiwe LibraryUniversity of Nigeria, Nsukka
.ABSTRACTReading has been identified as a very important skill in lifelong educationaldevelopment. Unfortunately, Nigerians are not making serious efforts toinculcate good reading habit among the youths. Thus, the standard of education in Nigeria has continued to nose dive as a result of this trend. This paper reviewed the problems which have characterized reading culture in Nigeria and identified the pivotal roles of the teacher- librarian in promotingreading culture among the young ones. It regrets the general neglect of school libraries which would have been the bedrock of reading promotion inthe country. The paper therefore, recommended the re-introduction of libraryscience courses in Nigerian Colleges of Education for the training of qualityteacher-librarians who would serve in primary and secondary schools in thecountry. 
 
Introduction.
Reading is an indispensable learning skill which lays the foundation for independent studies and prepares the child for higher educationalopportunities. Scholars have proposed different definitions of reading. Dale(1976) defined it as the ability to glean meaning from printed symbols.Similarly, Ubahakwe (1984) explained that reading is an acquired art byindividual over a period of suitable exposure and which demands for itsefficiency, skill and a set of behaviour which is both linguistic and psycholinguistic. Reading therefore consists of complex psycholinguistic processes of identifications, mental integration research and application of written language symbols. It serves as a link between printed symbols andmeaning attached to these symbols - thus achieving interaction between theauthor and the reader.Consequently, the National Policy on Education (2004) underscoresthe vital roles of reading in the over all intellectual development of the childwhen it provided that “state and local governments shall establish publiclibraries and actively promote readership …" In line with this Oyo State primary education board encourages the pupils in the state to "learn to readso that they can read to learn" (Adediran 2004).Despite these policy statements and effort by some state governments indeveloping libraries, reading culture is still at its lowest level among Nigerian children. Numerous literature lamenting low level of readingculture among Nigerians particularly the young ones exist. (Obah, 1980;Apeji, 1987; Maduhunsi, 1987; Daraman, 2000; Ojielo, 2001; Gojeh, 2004)Several reasons have been adduced for the problem. These reasons rangefrom the notion that Africa as a continent has a deep oral tradition which
 
does not support reading (Ojielo 2001). Others contend that poodevelopment of libraries and paucity of reading materials and lack of adequate reading environment in Nigerians school system stifle the growthof reading culture. While it is evident that available statistics bemoan the poor state of school libraries it is also true that even where there are schoollibraries, trained staff (teacher librarians) would not be employed to managethe library. This is evident in an investigation conducted by Gojeh (2004).The report reveals that of the 106 secondary schools in Kaduna State, 25 of them have good school libraries but only six professional librarians wereemployed. This fell short of the minimum standard in staffing of schoollibraries as recommended by Federal Ministry of Education (1992) of atleast one professional librarian (teacher librarian) for every school library.To worsen the situation, all the Colleges of Education in Nigeria no longer run programmes in library science (JAMB 2007). Thus, the Colleges of Education that would have been fertile ground for the training of teacher -librarian, no longer offer such courses.This paper therefore, tends to underscore the pivotal roles of theteacher librarian in promotion of reading culture among the Nigerian Youths.
Who is a Teacher - Librarian?
Teacher librarian is used to describe the professional who has both thetraining of a teacher and a librarian (Dike 2004). He/she has the requisitetraining as both a librarian and a teacher. According to Dike, a teacher-librarian has large teaching roles to play as a school librarian. However, thisis far from being a classroom teacher. Dike identified the followingfunctions of a teacher librarian
Encouraging reading for pleasures

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