Yaba Central Medical Library Dilapidated, Hope In Lagos National Library
ALTHOUGH centrally located at Yaba, many Lagos residents do not know Lagos Central Medical Library. You may be right to defend its unpopularity being a special library.
But that wall of defense melts away when subjected to a test of popularity among medical personnel and students. Not many of them know that the library exists, even though they often pass in front of the library on their way to work and school.
When The Guardian visited the library during the week, it was observed that the building has started dilapidating. Many of the books in the library are not only outdated, but they are also old.
At the time of the visit, the room that houses books in the building was under lock and key. On demand to use the section, an official of the library came with key to open the room.
It was not however clear why the room is usually locked. It was observed that some of the racks were empty of books. Only two racks could boast of modern, but few books in nursing, radiology, orthopaedics, public health, nutrition, family medicine, medical microbiology.
There were no modern books on physiotherapy, paediatrics, gynaecology, urology, cardiology, pharmacy, pharmacognosy, mental health, health management, medical sociology, and biomedical engineering among other specialised medical fields.
There was no e-library facility at the centre. The chairs were observed to be turn apart, just as the library was observed to be in need of urgent repair and painting.
There was no electricity in the building. The toilets lack running water. No single person came for research during the visit. The Guardian was told by on of the library officials that the library’s photocopying machine had gone bad, but added that their efforts to repair the machine.
The Guardian learnt that one of the problems of the library has been its transfer from the Federal Ministry of Health to the Federal Ministry of Education, where the library is being starved of funds.
While the Central Medical Library may be in a state of dilapidation, there is a ray of hope at The National Library of Nigeria in Lagos. Although situated at an old building in Yaba, the environment looked serene and well taken care of. Noiseless, the building reflected the true picture of reading environment.
The staff that wore branded t-shirt was friendly and courteous at the time of the visit. Chairs in the library appeared neat, just as the air conditioners were working.
There are many students who come with their books to read at the building. Although inside the library is filled with old books, it was observed that the library now boast of e-library with 100 computers.
But some of the readers and researchers were not aware of the e-library. Hence, there was no reader using the e-library section as at the time of the visit. One of the readers, who gave his name as Mr Peter Ozinede revealed that the library managers had been charging library users fees to use toilets in the building until two weeks ago when they stopped the practice.