The Board is the highest decision making body in the National Library of Nigeria and the membership is appointed by the Federal Government through the Honourable Minister of Education and subject to the approval of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
Board Background and History
The Board is the highest decision making body in the National Library of Nigeria
The foundation for the existence of National Library was laid with the enactment of National Library Act of 1964 by the first Republic Legislature which actually took effect in 1966 following the inauguration of the first Board. This law provided for the constitution of the governing Board and placed it in the category of corporations under the Nigerian Law.
The original Act was amended and further strengthened by Decree No. 29 of 1970 which introduced the establishment of branches in each capital of the Federation. It also expanded the membership of the Board members to seventeen (17) and more importantly, made positive provision for National Library to serve as the depository of all published works, books, magazines, Newspaper, Films, and records for permanent preservation to make the library the giant memory and store house of knowledge for the nation.
By another decree, National Library Board (Amendment) Decree No 26 of 1976, the 1970 Act was further amended to make provision for representation of each of the existing nineteen (19) states on the Board. The second decree of 1987 pruned down the membership of the Board to a more manageable proportion of twelve (12) constituting the states into six (6) geo-political zones among the states in each zone. It also made allowances for the representation of interest groups such as Nigerian Library Association (NLA), the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, the Armed Forces of Nigeria and a representative of the Association of University Librarians of Nigerian Universities (AULNU).
FUNCTIONS OF THE BOARD OF THE NATIONAL LIBRARY OF NIGERIA
The major functions of the Board as provided by the enabling law include:
1. To establish and maintain National Library of Nigeria which will serve as the giant memory of the nation, its intellectual storehouse and data bank for its learning and remembering process.
2. To provide such services as in the opinion of the Board are usually by National Libraries of the highest standing.
3. For the purpose of carrying out the general functions imposed on the Board by subsection (1) above, it shall be the duty of the board, so far as its permits, to:-
(a) assemble, maintain and extend a collection of books, periodicals, pamphlets, newspapers, maps, musicals scores, films and recordings and such other matters as the Board considers appropriate for a library of the highest standing.
(b) establish and maintain a branch of National Library of Nigeria in each States of the Federation.
(c) make the facilities of the National Library available to members of the public and others on proper terms, which may include provision for:
i) the imposition of a scale of fees, subject to the approval of the Honourable Minister, for services rendered to the public;
ii) safeguarding the property of the board; and
iii) specifying the categories of persons who may be admitted to premises under the control of the Board.
(d) To make such arrangements as the Board considers appropriate with respect to the:
i) exchange of matters included in the collection aforesaid
ii) preparation and publication of catalogues, indexes and similar aids
iii) provision of assistance to other persons in the organization libraries and with respect to the manner of using facilities under the control of libraries.
(e) To make recommendations and give advice on library development or organization to any department or agency of government of the federal or state or to any local government authority.
(f) To be responsible for the development of the National Bibliography of the Nigeria and National Bibliographical services, either in a National Bibliographical center or elsewhere.
(g) The Board shall have such powers as may be necessary or desirable for the proper exercise of its function and in particular, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the Board may:
i) Sue and be sued in its corporate;
ii) acquire, hold and dispose of movable and immovable property. In general, and in particular;
iii) do anything for the purpose of advancing the skill of persons employed by the Board or the efficiency of the equipment of the Board or of the manner in which that equipment is operated (including the provision by the Board, and the assistance of the provision by the facilities for training, education and research);
iv) provide Houses, Hostels and other like accommodation for persons employed by the Board;
v) make loans to any person employed by the Board for the purpose of building a House, purchase a plot of Land on which a House for such a person may be built or purchase a House for the residential use of any person or his Family; and
vi) otherwise promote the welfare of persons employed by the Board.
4. Subject to this Act, the Honourable Minister may give the Board direction of a general character or relating generally to particular matters (but not to any individual person or case) with regard to the exercise by the Board of its functions and powers, and it shall be the duty of the Board to comply with the directives.