World Book Day: Librarian charges parents to include books in children’s birthday packs

Mrs Aderonke Bello, Librarian, Lagos State University (LASU), on Tuesday advised parents to include a book in their children’s birthday gift to encourage their reading culture.

Bello gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos in commemoration of the 2019 World Book Day.

She said that children would be encouraged to read the books and be addicted to reading once parents offered them books from cradle.

“Make sure you buy at least a book for them as their birthday gift and not just material things.

“Because I have been working in the library for quite sometime, and whenever I am going home, I lend story books home for my children to read.

“After sometime, any day I forgot to carry books home, they would challenge me on why I did not bring the books home for them; because they have become used to it,” she said.

Bello said that when someone was used to reading, they become faster in it; such tend to deepen their knowledge and scope.

The librarian expressed concern that the mobile phones and social media had overshadowed the reading culture among students and even parents.

“Parents, who are adults, have become so addicted to their phones that their children are now complaining that their parents prefer to be with their phones than discuss with them,” she said.

Bello urged schools to compel students to read a story book in a week, to improve and encourage their reading habit.

“We have to catch these children young, especially in the primary school; they should be compelled to read a book a day or within a week and afterwards give a preview or summary of what they have read.

“This way, the habit of reading will be encouraged,” she said.

Prof. Yusuf Babatunde, Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, LASU, said that the problem of poor reading culture in Nigeria was compounded by the advancement of technology and by extension, the social media.

Babatunde said the menace was beyond the Nigerian students because it was multi-faceted; and contributed by the family, society, institutions and even organisations.

“If we put the whole problem of poor reading culture on the students, we are not being fair, because everyone of us contributed to the problem and must address it holistically, ” he said.

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