Right now, I’m inside the library nearest to my apartment. To print my CV. My old rank Xerox printer at home is finally dead! I promised to get an HP on amazon, but never got to doing that. This month did, it must be done. You cannot live without a personal bureau with such things here. You find yourself having to print and document so much…receipts, official documents, certificates, etc.
I know them well here. This library saved my dissertation. I loaned close to 1600 books and journals via them, from the International library system (minus amazon and Abe book purchases) Any book I wanted written on Nigeria was accessed by them in any library on earth and ferried here in a matter of 2/3 weeks for 2 euros. And I could have the book for 2/3 weeks.
What I did was scan them into USB sticks downstairs. I had maybe 30 sticks…labeled.
Scanning was for free. I would scan hundreds of pages at a time (some days please explain something to me, how can anyone write a dissertation without such facilities at home…shat kind of PhD would it be without access to books…I would just sit down and say for instance, “operation Seadog, Oron, Cross Rivers State, 1985”.
How can it be situate militarily in Nigeria’s pro military intervention thinking”. Good, what literature exists on that operation, what authors, has anyone mentioned about it anywhere as captured on www?
Invariably, someone has…I start digging. Once I find out the journal, if its not for free, I whip out my credit card, download it snd send it from my computer to the printer downstairs on my library credit card account. Before I get there, the sheets are waiting, fresh and hot. If I find published books, I order online to the library, indicating the isbn number.
A few hours later, I’m told they located the books in libraries around the world, and tell me the arrival dates to ick them up. All via email. I only go to the reception to sign for the cartons of books or when I return them…education made easy.
As I’m doing mine, you see secondary school kids doing theirs, in preparation for the Bach or some terminal assessment.
They were very happy to assist me here and were somewhat proud that I used the library for my dissertation. I made a lot of friends here. There was a Japanese stock market adviser that used the same hall as I did. He appeared at 3pm daily with all the papers and journals for his report served hot and fresh on his table. And he left at 5.40pm in a hurry with his risk analysis reports for the brokers in some International credit institutions 2 streets away from the library.
Sometimes I ask myself why we are in a hurry to construct stadiums, shopping centres, airports at awka and another in Asaba, one in Warri…etc when we have a galloping population rate of manufactured babies with next to zero access to fountains of knowledge, and even less interest.
How do we fortify the next generation for the inevitable jungle war for ever scarcer resources of the planet, involving ever burgeoning mass of people? There’s no gain saying that some must give way to others, ie survival of the fittest. In a war that knowledge is power!
My friend in Benin says the maxim of kids there is, “education is a scam”, ie., “knowledge is useless”.
Isn’t the fate clear?