It is usually ego massaging for government at all levels to focus on building new structures and establishing new processes. Revisiting existing structures, systems and processes in order to maximize their potentials have been an achilies heel to our executive systems at all levels.
Kenneth Dike State E-Library, owned and managed by Anambra state government is another underutilized structure. The library, a two storey, well built structure with an underground floor is a shadow of what a 21st century library should be.
In today’s knowledge driven economy, investment in knowledge pays the best interest. It is therefore quite saddening that our state owned library has been neglected and allowed to function sub par. The library which has book library sections and digital library sections have been made unattractive for lack of a visionary management.
Having for the past one year been a subscriber of the services of the state library which is situated close to the popular Aroma junction in Awka, Anambra state, I have found it disturbing that an edifice of such nature is underutilized.
Firstly, to subscribe to use the services of the library costs N200 for 8 months and N300 for a year – so one can conclude that it is almost free to use the services of the library. But then what are these services?
The state library is supposed to offer uninterrupted power supply and internet services for at least it’s digital sections. However, power supply is rarely available, internet services is a story for another day. Unavailability of fuel to run the generators is the usual complain of the library management.
Sometimes, important sections of the library may be met locked, as a result of the absence of one civil servant or the other or just for no clear cut reason at all.
In this age and time, libraries have become innovative, co-working spaces and digital hubs are the libraries of the new era, but unfortunately, just as the saying goes, the civil service creates a problem for every solution and most unfortunately, our dear state owned Kenneth Dike Library has become their lastest victim.
The attention of the state government is therefore sought on the need to revitalize Kenneth Dike E-Library to run like the library of the modern era. Such an edifice, strategically located at the heart of town shouldn’t be allowed to lie in waste. The government needs to look into providing alternative energy solutions, at least for the digital sections of the library, and probably give up some of the spaces as hubs for private management and for other knowledge acquisition engagements.