COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE NIGERIAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION PRESERVATION AND CONSERVATION SECTION AT THE CONFERENCE HELD AT THE FCT ARCHIVES AND HISTORY BUREAU, GARKI, ABUJA
The Nigerian Library Association Preservation and Conservation Section (NLA-PACS) at its conference held at the FCT Archives and History Bureau from 3rd to 7th September, 2018, considered several issues of urgent national importance. The theme was “Digital Preservation in the 21st Century”. The key note addresses, delivered by Prof. G. O. Alegbeleye, of the Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State and Dr. James Lowry from the United Kingdom, set the pace for the conference.
Overview The 4-day conference had the presence of eminent librarians, archivists, curators and heads of some parastatals that are key stakeholders in attendance, as well as international participants. Nineteen (19) Technical Papers and three (3) Posters were presented in eight (8) themed sessions during the period, after the Opening Ceremony at which many dignitaries were present. The Conference noted the following:
1.) That there is a serious need for more specialised training for personnel in charge of digital preservation in all institutions.
2.) That institutions generally lack written preservation policies guiding their digital preservation activities.
3.) That inadequate funding and support hamper digital preservation programmes in memory institutions in Nigeria especially.
4.) That the current curriculum in library schools does not take adequate cognisance of digital preservation training.
5.) That government agencies do not offer enough support for heritage institutions, researchers, librarians, archivists and other stakeholders involved in digital preservation.
Resolutions And as such, the Conference resolved as follows:
1.) That library schools should expand their current curriculum further to include Digital Preservation in order to achieve desired results.
2.) That professionals in Digital Preservation area of research and practice should engage in lobbying to be able to play the politics that gets them results from their institutions and supporting agencies.
3.) That government should ensure that indigenous knowledge is preserved in all formats, especially digitally.
4.) That librarians, archivists and museum curators should orient their users especially researchers, on the art of self-archiving.
5.) That greater collaboration across countries and continents should be encouraged to foster global preservation practices for the future.
6.) That Public libraries should especially take more interest in digital preservation because of their nearness to their communities.
7.) That preservation programmes in memory institutions should be adequately funded.
8.) That long and short term training programmes should be incorporated in the preservation programmes.