Technology threatens libraries — Experts

By Ayomide Ayegbusi


In the face of technological advancements, Nigerian libraries are facing an existential threat.

With the increasing reliance on the internet for information, traditional libraries risk becoming obsolete.

However, the essence of libraries as guardians of knowledge and facilitators of access remains paramount.

Dr Bolanle Apata, from Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba (AAUA), Department of Arts Education, English Education unit, emphasizes that traditional libraries are on the brink of extinction due to technological advancements surpassing their capabilities.

Apata emphasized that technological advancements have rendered traditional library resources outdated and inadequate.

“Traditional libraries are facing extinction due to the overwhelming superiority of technological resources available to students and library users compared to what traditional libraries offer.”

“Most of the books in traditional libraries are outdated and there’s a significant lag in incorporating technology into their usage and functionality. Students can easily access current materials online, including resources from 2024, which are updated and relevant.”

She added that the lack of adequate infrastructure further threatens traditional libraries.

“Some of the libraries lack adequate infrastructure like lighting, the conducive of the library, and the location of the library determines if the library user will go there or not.

“Some of the library staff aren’t technology-compliant or knowledgeable enough to take the students around on how their Internet connection and some of the libraries didn’t have Internet facilities for students to access information online.

To address these challenges, Dr. Apata proposed that libraries should enhance their subscriptions to e-library platforms to make them accessible to students and provide training to staff members to ensure efficient utilization of technological resources.”

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Also, another education expert from AAUA, Mr Adeniyi John highlighted that traditional libraries often overlook valuable non-traditional forms of knowledge such as indigenous wisdom and oral histories.

To combat this, he suggested that libraries must innovate by incorporating technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital resources to better manage information and engage users.

However, Mr. Adeosun Kehinde from AAUA’s Department of Library and Information Studies, asserted that while ICT has revolutionized information dissemination, traditional libraries remain indispensable.

He noted that traditional libraries offer physical spaces conducive to reading and accessing materials, fostering a culture of learning and exploration that digital platforms often lack.

To safeguard Nigerian libraries from extinction, Adeosun said it was imperative to blend traditional practices with modern technology, upgrade infrastructure, enhance staff skills, and embrace digital resources.

He concluded that “by evolving into “smart libraries,” these institutions can adapt to changing times while preserving their essential role in fostering knowledge and learning.”

Technology threatens libraries — Experts

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Technology threatens libraries — Experts

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