By Emma Elebeke
DURING the recent National Good Governance Tour in Akwa Ibom State, one thing that stands out among numerous projects inspected was the newly completed N7.5 billion electronic library, or e-Library constructed by the state government.
The Governor, who was represented at the occasion by the Secretary to the State government, Mr. Umana O. Umana said the administration was not naïve in embarking on the multi billion naira project but was informed by the decision to place Akwa Ibom state on an educational advantaged at an educational advantaged level among its peers.
The foundation of the 1,000 user capacity e-library sitting on a 4.8 hectres of land was laid on September 25, 2007 and commissioned last year on July 27, by the President.
It is a five story building with a basement floor supported by internet access that covers five kilometers radius real time and has over 70,000 subscription for electronic materials. It also has an inbuilt smart class and language learning centre.
According to the Governor, the edifice has an outstation facilities supported by 10 power generators as well as workshop.
It has over 30,000 materials that covers literature and facility for e-conferencing. This is backed by an outstations supported by mobile library. At these outstations, users can hook up with the central station to obtain whatever material they needed.
As part of efforts to guarantee the sustainability of its operation, the administration said it has recently, engaged a consultant who will run and manage it in a more professional way.
their interesting areas of the library are the children gallery and reading areas. To ensure that every user maximize the opportunity, every user is issued automated card for access. In case where books are stolen, Umana said an alarm will blow to alert the management.
Commenting on the project, the minister of information, Mr. Labaran Maku lauded the state government for embarking on the novel project, which he said would offer inestimable value to the citizens of the state and Nigerians in general.
He urged the state government to partner relevant organizations that would add value to the services of the library to enable the people maximize the potentials.
‘‘I Think this is commendable. The state government should get in touch with Universal Service Provision Fund, USPF and connect with all the universities currently being connected by the federal ministry of Communications Techno logy to interface with them. Will help a lot to ease access to materials. The value is inestimable that only future will tell. Children will become foreigners if exposed only to foreign content rather than local content.