Lanre Aina, chief executive officer of the national library, said on Wednesday that Norway and Nigeria had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to digitise Nigerian books.
Aina told the NAN in Abuja that the digitisation would be done for the first three years in Norway and thereafter the books and other library materials would be digitised in Nigeria.
“In return, Norway would train our staff and give us some digitisation equipment, so that rather than ship the documents to Norway, it will be done in Nigeria to keep with global trend.
“We are looking forward to it and the minister of education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has given us the support,” Aina said.
He attributed the delay in executing the digitisation project in the past to paucity of funds.
According to him, the national library of Norway is multilingual and under the MoU, some Nigerian books will be digitalised in Norway and kept in their library.
The professor explained that digitisation would help to improve the library usage as well as improve reading culture among Nigerians.
“Our aim is to digitise all the materials we have in our library, so that people can have remote access and from your computer you can access it.
“That is our goal; for example, we have internet access in the whole building and we are trying to buy some digitisation equipment, so that we can start digitising some of the local materials we have.
“One of the good things about the National library is that we are supposed to collect all publications emanating from Nigeria and our aim is to digitise these materials so that people can have access to them.”
On staff training, Aina said the cost of training outside the Nigerian shores was as high as N600, 000 including transportation and allowances.
According to him, the exorbitant cost of personnel training has become a major hindrance to capacity building.
The professor, however, said the emphasis had now been shifted to in-house training in order to update the staff on global trends in library services.
“We want them to keep abreast of the current happenings; so we organise in-house trainings because sharing knowledge is important, as every member of staff can benefit from it.”