The dream for the national body was born out of the desire to have a global network of Library and Information science students. Thequest to start up this national body was born in 2014 at the University of Ibadan but the decision to achieve this dream was made on the 10th of February, 2015 after a chat and knowledge sharing session with Steve Souije, a final year student of Makerere University Uganda.
The dream was shared with Steve and a decision to expand it to as many countries was made and so a whatsapp platform was created which the University of Ibadan and Makerere University Uganda were the first to be admitted on the platform, later other colleagues from different schools joined the group and the aim was to share ideas and knowledge on what is being taught in Library schools across institutions and countries.
This became the foundation of the national body of Library and Information Science Students in Nigeria and also started the movement to unite LIS Students in Africa and subsequently expand her tentacles globally. A notification about the group was posted in many LIS students platform and interested students came on board and the group expanded to about four full online groups accommodating more than one thousand LIS Students across institutions and the aim of the platform was not defeated as it became anonline classroom where knowledge are shared through daily lectures on LIS topics and human development topics that cut across Leadership, Health, Entrepreneurship, Relationship and others.
As the group progresses, there was a need not just to have an official national body but also to have a program that will bring young minds together to share knowledge and equip themselves physically with someskillsneeded in the 21st century and for networking too, just like students of other disciplines like Medical and Dental students, Philosophy students and others.
This triggered plans for a program in the University of Ibadan to bring LIS students in Nigeria together, that was when the plan for the national conference started (October/November 2015). Letters were sent to NLA about the group by the foundation members which some chapter presidents signed but was not replied, hence the plans for the program yielded no fruitbecause there was no approval or formal support by the professional association and so the group continued its online existence and activities.
At this point, the history of this national body cannot be complete without acknowledging the selfless efforts of some foundation members and key persons for the roles they played to ensure the existence of this national association, they include Comr.Solomon AmaechiAkannam, the convener of this group and the first national coordinator of this noble group, others are ComradesJames Enamudua.k.a Prof Mudu (UI), Prudence Oletu (DELSU), Daniel Oluwatosin Akobea.k.a Prof. DOA (FUTMINNA), OlabisiOlatunjiD’Cataloguer (UI), Patrick Nwabueze (UNIBEN), OmolaraMalomo (FUTMINNA), Paul Emmanuel (BABCOCK), Philip a.k.a Prof. Phil (UNIBEN), Ibrahim Jammal (KSU), Victor Ejechi, DamilareOyedele, Elijah AzeezOlawale amongst others.
A special appreciation goes to these senior and professional colleagues for their advice and different contributions; Messrs John Oluwaseye Adebayo, Lekan Awujuola, OyewaleOlawale, OlaideAkinbo, AzeezAdeoye and Patrick Agwu. After the first attempt for the national convention of LIS Students proved unsuccessful, the quest to have an officially recognized body continued as some foundation members didn’t give up, the group kept expanding on the online platforms, sharing knowledge and working in their little capacity to make the group active and the dream actualized. In 2017, a letter was written to the president of NLA Dr. UmunnaOpara, he replied and a flow of communication with him started.
In May 2018, the group invited the NLA National President for an online meeting with him on the whatsapp platform which he kindly obliged and it was indeed a successful meeting, where he promised to support the students body and encouraged their good work, which was an assurance of hope for us. The group on the other hand promised to work with NLA which is the professional body as student members and be part of her programmes, which was started through massive attendance during the NLA annual conference (Gateway 2018) which held in June at Abeokuta in Ogun state.
It was during the conference that the representatives had the opportunity of having a physical meeting with the NLA President where the official approval was declared to be a national body of LIS Students in Nigeria as well as the student chapter of Nigeria Library Association (NLA). Attendance during the meeting include Mr. Solomon Akannam, who is the Convener and National Coordinator of Library and Information Science Students since 2015, Miss Prudence Oletu who is one of the foundation members, Mr. Victor Ejechi, Mr. DamilareOyelede, Mr. Elijah AzeezOlawale who have been very active and key members since 2016 and over eighty other students in attendance.
A Committee was set up during the meeting to work with the National Coordinator. The plan for the first national conference to inaugurate the national body started late 2018. The body adopted the name Nigerian Library and Information Science Students Association (N-LISSA) to be a national name for LIS students associations of all the chapters due to the varying names of the chapter associations like LARISSA, NALISS, NALITS, LISSA etc
Our Achivement so far
The association started on the 15th day of 2015 and since then several achievements have been recorded-some of which include the following:
First the association had a partnership project with the student chapter of America Library Association which has progressed and still ongoing.
The association from 2015 till date has supported a good number of students who were faced with financial challenges to successfully pay their school fees, some of the recipients have graduated.
The association worked hard since 2015 and got approved and inaugurated by the professional body; Nigeria Library Association in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
The first conference of Library and Information Students was organized and successfully held in 2019 with about 87 students in attendance from different library schools across Nigeria.
The first national election for the N-LISSA held during the first conference and the first elected set of executives led by Comr. Elijah Azeez Olawale was elected and was handed over by the founding President Comr. Solomon Amaechi Akannam who has led the group since its inception in 2015 till April 2019
Also inaugurated the Council members comprising of some of the active pioneer/founding members led by the founder/convener, to guide the activities of the executives and to advise them towards the goals and objectives of the association.
The association produced her first national magazine during the first conference which is rich in informative and educative articles.
The association has successfully organized series of lectures on her platform by some national and African librarians. The platform has become a learning hub for librarians not just in Nigeria but Africa.
In 2020, the N-LISSA was registered under African Library Associations and Institutions which is the continental body for the profession through the kind assistance of Dr. Nkem Osuigwe.
Our New Genaretion
As the traditional custodian of information, librarians in the 21st century need to be aware of these significant changes and as such employ their technological knowhow and intellectual masterpiece in order to retain the leading role of the libraries in supporting teaching, learning and research. This means that the 21st century librarian will have to be armed with competent skills that will enhance the provision of effective library services to meet client‘s changing information needs. .
The role of librarians in the 21st century has been upgraded as a result of technology. The present day librarians are ICT driven because the libraries are equipped with ICT facilities. Librarians are expected to combine the traditional roles with the present day roles since they have come a long way as navigators who are well versatile in the use of technologies.
These librarians are also expected to be engaged in the exploration and implementation of new technologies needed to match with the present patrons most of whom have become· technologically" savvy in the use of ICT. They must possess high level of information literacy skills, as well as knowledge of the principles and techniques of effective reference services. It is expected that the present day librarian participates in research which plays a big role in both knowledge acquisition and service delivery.
21st century librarians must be committed to research and contribution to the profession. He must contribute through writing, editing, referencing and reviewing of books. They must attend conferences and present papers and be involved in teaching. These librarians must be knowledgeable in integrated library system (ILS) web technologies such as web 2.0, twitter, face book, my space, OPAC 2.0 etc. They must also have knowledge of data management.