Logo of ITF used to demonstrate the story.

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos – The Industrial Training Fund, ITF has received commendation for promoting reading culture as other organisations are urged to emulate the ITF which has institutionalised reading among its workforce and residents of the host communities.

A Professor of Library and Information Science from the University of Jos, Vicki Lawal gave the commendation during the ITF’s 16th Library Week celebration with the theme: “The Dialectics of Knowledge Management in a Globalized Age,” held at the Fund’s headquarters in Jos, Plateau State.

Professor Lawal, who is also a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa, lamented the poor reading culture amongst Nigerian students, and commended the ITF for organising and consistently sustaining its library week for the past 16 years while also giving out gifts as motivation for staff and users to cultivate a reading culture.

The Don in a statement issued by the ITF’s Director, Public Affairs Department, Suleyol Chagu noted, “In the University today, we are struggling to encourage our students, who are constantly on social media to cultivate a reading culture, I think we should borrow a leaf from the ITF to incentivise reading for our students to come to the library to read.

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“Organisations are supposed to work towards harnessing their tacit and explicit knowledge to remain relevant, competitive and progressive in terms of their activities within an organisation like the ITF.

“Knowledge management is very important. We are growing to a level of technology where information sources are increasing and it requires that we are up to date by harnessing most of the information that we have available, especially for organisations. It is important that organisations have a knowledge management policy, which means that they will need to work towards implementing all those policies to ensure that they move forward or remain globally competitive.”

Earlier, the Director- General of the ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, explained that the ITF Library Week was a week-long event organised by the Fund to cultivate reading culture among Nigerians and to celebrate the invaluable role that libraries, librarians and library workers play in the lives of individuals and organisations.

The DG, who was represented by the Director of Field Services Department, Mrs. Adetola Aje, emphasized the importance of libraries and commended the Research and Curriculum Development Department (R&CDD) of the ITF for organizing the Library Week.

He called on staff to embrace a culture of curiosity, adaptability, and continuous improvement by being open to new ideas, show the willingness to unlearn and relearn, and being committed to staying ahead of the curve.

He added, “As we navigate the complexities of a globalized world, let us remember that knowledge management is not just a technical process or a set of tools. It is a mindset, a philosophy, and a strategic imperative. It is about harnessing the collective intelligence of diverse individuals and communities, leveraging technology to connect and collaborate, and creating an ecosystem that fosters innovation, growth, and development.”

Also, the Director, Research and Curriculum Development Department, Mr. Farouk Wase, said that the Fund consistently organised the week because, “We are in the business of human capital development and capacity building and we cannot drive this without knowledge background.

“The Library Week is one of the focal points we try to reiterate the need for people to try to harness their knowledge assets. We do it annually for people to be able to revamp their reading habits, and reading attitudes and also to have access to new books and publications which we have been able to accumulate annually.”

The highlight of the event was the presentation of gifts to staff and users who had shown dedication to utilising the Fund’s library facilities.