A senior research fellow at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, Professor Vicki Lawal, has commended the efforts of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) for promoting reading culture among Nigerians, especially its workforce and neighbouring communities, through its Library Week celebration.
Professor Lawal made the commendation on Tuesday during the Fund’s 16th Library Week celebration with the theme “The Dialectics of Knowledge Management in a Globalised Age” at the Yakubu Gowon Multipurpose Hall and Auditorium at the ITF Headquarters in Jos.
The Don, who lamented the poor reading culture among Nigerian students, commended the ITF for organising and consistently sustaining its library week for the past 16 years while also giving out gifts as motivation for staff and users to cultivate a reading culture.
“In the university today, we are struggling to encourage our students, who are constantly on social media, to cultivate a reading culture. I think we should borrow a leaf from the ITF to incentivize reading and encourage our students to come to the library to read. She said.
She noted that there was an urgent need for organisations to establish knowledge management systems to remain relevant, especially in a highly globalised age.
“Organisations are supposed to work towards harnessing their tacit and explicit knowledge for the purpose of remaining relevant, competitive, and progressive in terms of their activities within an organisation like the ITF.
“Knowledge management is very important. We are at a level of technology where information sources are increasing, and it requires that we stay up-to-date by harnessing most of the information that we have available, especially for organisations. It is important that organisations have a knowledge management policy, which means that they will need to work towards implementing all those policies to ensure that they move forward or remain globally competitive,” she said.
In his address, the Director-General of the ITF, Sir Joseph N. Ari, noted that the ITF Library Week was a week-long event organized by the Fund to cultivate reading culture among Nigerians and to celebrate the invaluable role that libraries, librarians, and library workers play in the lives of individuals and organizations.
The DG, who was represented by the Director of the Field Services Department, Mrs. Adetola Aje, emphasized the importance of libraries and commended the Research and Curriculum Development Department (R&CDD) for organizing Library Week.
He called on staff to embrace a culture of curiosity, adaptability, and continuous improvement by being open to new ideas, showing the willingness to unlearn and relearn, and being committed to staying ahead of the curve.
“As we navigate the complexities of a globalised world, let us remember that knowledge management is not just a technical process or a set of tools. It is a mindset, a philosophy, and a strategic imperative. It is about harnessing the collective intelligence of diverse individuals and communities, leveraging technology to connect and collaborate, and creating an ecosystem that fosters innovation, growth, and development. He added.
In his address, the Director, Research and Curriculum Development Department, Mr. Farouk Wase, said that the Fund consistently organised the week because ITF was a citadel of learning.
“We are in the business of human capital development and capacity building, and we cannot drive this without knowledge and background. And library week is one of the focal points where we try to reiterate the need for people to try to harness their knowledge assets.
“We do it annually for people to be able to revamp their reading habits and reading attitudes and also to have access to new books and publications that we have been able to accumulate annually,” he added.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of gifts to staff and users of the fund who had shown dedication to utilising the fund’s library facilities,” he said.
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