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How to become a University Librarian in Nigeria.

One of the most respected University’s non academic careers that anyone can start easily irrespective of discipline in Nigeria today, is as a Librarian.

A typical University Library

Until recently, Library studies as a course is not very common to see, hence anybody could be a librarian by training but now things are changing. I have once taken my time to check the biographies of all present Librarians of our universities, (see lists of Nigerian Universities Libraries) and most, except few like Unilorin where one Dr. Issa is a library studies graduate – many librarians are from very different backgrounds ranging from Education to Computer Science to even Arts.

Ofourse there is now an increased undergraduate education in librarianship than before with more than 50 institutions offering certificate, diploma and degree courses in Library and Information Science in Nigeria, but then the field still absorbs a good number of graduates from other fields who can do an  abridged postgraduate masters in Library Science called MLS and certified librarian. Get a Masters in Library Science (MLS) and you are good to go as a librarian.

Everytime a University appoints a new boss, I take my time to go through their résumé and cross the dots vis-à-vis what they studied and their career path. Course, this is one thing, I love doing, not because of anything but because I admire being a university administrator sometimes. It is one of the few government jobs I love. Lol

So, if you are thinking of diverting into a career, library science can be an option for you. And one beautiful part is that you can rise to become a principal officer of a territory institution, as a University Librarian is the fourth most important personality after the Vice Chancellor and deputies, the Registrar and the Bursar.

Another interesting part is that, it is less Strenuous and gives you time for other things, like further studying – a reason why you might find many principal librarians having Phds.

A Career in Library Management in Universities is one under subscribed field for specialists, unlike Admin Officers for young graduates and very few of them are noticed.

Till we graduated from the University in my set, I doubt if many of my colleagues will recollect who was the University librarian at our University in Ekiti State University throughout our stay.  But many will remember the then Registrar, Dr. Omojola Awosusi and the PRO. Lol.

Reading Library

But I can understand why the above experience was like that and it is not far from the obvious truth that the position is like an hidden part of the university, yet virile and important to the growth of every academic institution. Without a University Library, learning and access to books won’t be the same. Thanks to the Internet today though.

As an undergraduate, I once thought of the no of staff that Ekiti state University Library will have. I don’t think they would be less than 50.

Almost like what you will found in other non academic units, like the Registry. Some Faculties and departments even have special libraries, like Law and Medicine.. So you can imagine the no of staff that the library units will consume on its own.

For every recruitment in the non academic session of the university, there is always a good no of librarians, needed. I take a look of the gigantic newly built Tetfund Library by FG at Kwara State University last year, and all I see is a new opportunity for intake of new librarians.

Kwara State University Library

If you have your first degree in Education or Computer Science, or you are an Arts Graduate, and you are clueless about what masters you could go for, a masters in Library science may be a good option for you to begin a new promising career path.

Universities, polytechnics and college of Education are springing up daily.  Standard Secondary schools are building great libraries, and you know what? – a microbiologist or chemist will not work there, except he or she has the training, but folks with either first degree or masters degree in library science can.

Take advantage of this information now, before we start having huge numbers of universities training library science graduates.  They are still limited today.

You could be a University librarian in tje next 2yrs, you know? Lol. Start now!

University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, University of Maiduguri, Bayero University Kano are few of the many schools in Nigeria where you can enroll today for your MLS programme. Don’t wait any more. Enroll now, the career can be promising.

I hope this information is helpful? Further Questions can be placed here as comments.

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