I grew up at a time when the community played a significant role in the upbringing of a child. My first visit to a Library was with an uncle who was at the university; it was an unusual experience. It stimulated my interest in reading, something I have continued to do till this day. I was about 8 years old, but it was a world I enjoyed being a part of; serene and orderly.
Current research on early literacy and brain development indicates that it is never too early to prepare children for success as readers. Libraries play a key community role in the distribution of early literacy information.
Suffice it to say that Children need the opportunity to develop their reading and writing skills. Libraries can play a key role as children continue the development of these skills. Library collections are of major importance to the child and they include a good selection of materials (hard or soft copies).
Libraries do not have to be huge edifices. They can be small and carry comfortable furnishing for adults and children with basic ambiance (akin to the corner of a big room). These can be donated to small communities. We do not need National or honorary Libraries that cost a fortune but add no real immediate or medium term value to the average Nigerian child. Our children can develop a reading culture enhanced by facilities close to home. Early literacy skills lead to later academic success and early gaps stay throughout a child’s education. Let us build libraries. Literacy is freedom!