By Happiness Ifiok
Cross River State Government is set to renovate the state library, years after the facility got dilapidated. Speaking on Tuesday in Calabar during a tour of the library, the state governor, Ben Ayade said the renovation would be done before the end of the year, “unfortunately in the last ten years, the Library has been a bit ineffectual and almost in the state of collapse. Obviously, as a digital and academic as myself, it is my responsibility and prerogative to ensure that we get the library back on track. It is our intention to ensure that this library gets on board and fully in use by the close of November and at the very worst, second or third week of December, the library will be proper and fully in use”.
The state governor who noted that the renovation is not in view to impress fun lovers during the carnival, added that the move would encourage book lovers to once again use the library, “it is not just about the Carnival, but we want to also prove that we research and we study hard in Cross River State. For ten years this library has been in the state of collapse. We are renovating, reinvigorating and revitalising, bringing in a lot of equipment, new technology and a different access of conducting research in a modern way”.
The governor further explained other aspects that would be put in place, “there are two major emphases here in this library. One is the business component which has to do with reprography, bindery and all sorts of services that have to do with education related matters, including research and development, serving of journals and other learned articles of high repute. The other component is the public service which has to do with the public coming in at low cost. There is a department which is dedicated to e-learning and e-library where most of your access to data, internet services and special topics research works can also take place”. The renovation is coming years after Cross Riverians have angrily cried out over the dilapidated facility of the state library.
On his part, the Chairman of the State Library Board, Calabar, Andrew Ita Bassey, expressed optimism at the initiative which in turn would improve the reading culture in the state, “you will agree with me that the state of dilapidation knows no bounds, everything has collapsed. But, I believe that before the end of the year, it is going to be an entirely different place. We have put together the team, the architecture, the plumbing work, the civil work, the electrical work. We want to start right from tomorrow to make sure that things are done well. It is a most definitive library, everything is here as concerning good library anywhere. So, we want to get started with His Excellency giving us this assurance that money will be released soon”.
In addition to the state library in Calabar, Cross River state has other library locations in Ikom and Ogoja Local government areas, with the hope to add one in Obudu.