National Librarian urges publishers to comply with international standard

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National librarian, Prof Lenrie Aina
National librarian, Prof Lenrie Aina

By Ibukun Emiola

Ibadan – The National librarian, Prof Lenrie Aina, has called on stakeholders in the publishing industry to comply with international standards of publications for development in Nigeria.

Aina made the appeal in Ibadan on Tuesday at the opening of a sensitisation workshop on legal deposit, ISSN and ISBN, South Western zone of the National Library of Nigeria.

He expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of adherence to statutory regulation of the organisation and stressed the need for compliance by all stakeholders.

“The National Library of Nigeria (NLN) is mandated to collect all publications emanating from Nigeria; publications about Nigeria and any work authored by Nigerians anywhere in the world.

“The act establishing NLN stipulates that three copies, 10 copies and 25 copies of all types of publications by authors or publishers, state agencies and federal agencies, respectively, must be deposited with the organisation within one month after publication.

“Unfortunately, it has been observed with dismay that most publishers, authors, printers, academicians and government printers do not adhere to international standards for publishing, nor do they comply with the legal deposit provision.

“This could either be due to unawareness or lack of commitment on their part; hence the purpose of this sensitisation workshop on the theme: ‘International Standards for Publishing and Legal Deposit Compliance in Nigeria’,” Aina said.

He stated that all publications must carry the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for books and International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) for serials as well as other bibliographic requirements.

In his keynote address, the Chairman, Publishers Association of Nigeria, Mr Adedapo Gbadega,  who was represented by Mr Emmanuel Abimbola, identified the need for advocacy to enlighten the public on standards of publishing.

He also stressed the need for capacity development for NLN to be able to cater adequately for all publications in the country.

“Everyone should comply with the International Standard but apart from ISBN, ISSN and the legal deposit there are other standards.

“We all need to know these standards about the content, paper and serial and these can only come through education; NLN needs to do this.

“There should be a publication of a book that will have all the information about publishing in Nigeria which will be made available for all, even students at all levels need it.”

On her part, Prof Iyabode Mabawonku, the South western zone workshop coordinator, said NLN was running the workshop in all the geographical zones of Nigeria.

“The benefit of this is that it will enable NLN to act as the gateway between Nigeria and the rest of the world.

“It will prevent plagiarism and piracy as well because when people want information they can trace it through ISBN and ISSN.

“Once you look at the number you will know where the book was published,” Mabawonku said.

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