The Oasis Reporters
October 21, 2021
By Asile Abel, Jos
Director General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ari on Monday said reading is a critical tool of empowerment.
He also stressed the need for all staff of ITF to engage themselves by imbibing the reading culture.
Ari made this known while speaking at the ITF 14th Library week held at the headquarters in Jos.
“In the ITF, the first Library Week was organised in 2007 and was aimed at boosting the reading culture amongst the ITF staff and other users. Since then, the event has been organised every year, leading to marked increment in the patronage of its numerous services, he added.
Represented by Dickson Onuoha, the Director, Information and Communication of the fund, Ari said “I am very delighted to be here for the 14th edition of the ITF Library Week, which is an important activity on the Fund’s annual calendar that affords us the platform to celebrate the invaluable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming societies.
In his words “What we are celebrating today, dates back to 1958, when the American Library Association (ALA) organised the first library week”.
He further said that the decision to organise the Library week by the Association was premised on the fact that fewer people were spending money on books, and devoting more time to television and radio shows.
Ari also added that this year, the ITF Library Week with the theme: Library Matters: Building a Reading Culture, is in furtherance of our continued efforts to ensure well rounded staff that are mentally and intellectually prepared to drive the achievement of our onerous mandate.
“As you may be aware, the ITF Library offers an array of services and opportunities for knowledge growth within our community because it contains a wide range of books on various subject matters for diverse readers, and is open not only to staff and their children/wards but to members of the general public desirous of taking advantage of its immense resources. “
The question may be asked; why the emphasis on building a reading culture? Why do libraries matter? For us, the answer is simple; as the leading Human Resource Development Organisation in Nigeria, with the wide ranging mandate to provide, promote and encourage the acquisition of skills, we are expected to be ahead of the field in the discovery of new and trending skills, information and knowledge. For us therefore, knowledge creation is a sine qua non.
It is often said that, “You cannot give what you don’t have.” Therefore, for the ITF to sustain the momentum of growth, increasing relevance and its positioning as a leader in the ever changing and fast-paced knowledge economy in Nigeria, we must embrace and imbibe a strong reading culture otherwise, our vision of aspiring to be among the best in the world will not be fully realized.
This is because organisations that embrace a reading culture build creative and innovative teams that set the tone for development in their sector. In addition, a reading Organisation is basically a learning Organisation that will remain ever relevant because they are able to adapt to any change in the environment that is occasioned by either technology or policies of Government.
He stressed that reading is not only for organizational growth alone but also for individual benefit as it aids in developing the individual’s thoughts, cognitive mental stimulation and brain exercising, vocabulary and knowledge expansion, stress and tension relief and helps with depression and dysthymia amongst others.
Ari called on citizens to visit the library and pick a book and read. I implore you to also make reading part of your daily life; Make a plan to read a book a month and by the end of the year, you would have read twelve books.
“We have a library that can boast of being one of the best in Plateau State. I urge you to visit our library and I assure you that you will find interesting books and other educational resources that will be worth your while”, he further stressed.