A Director, National Library Calabar branch office, Mr Nkereuwem Etuk, says poor power supply in Calabar remains a major challenge to the function of the e-library service in the Cross River branch of the National Library.

Etuk said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Calabar while commemorating the World Book and Copyright Day.

World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book, is an annual event organised (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.

He said e-library in the National Library Calabar was functional but faced with the huge challenge of power shortage.

The Director said the office could not continue to rely on generators because of the cost of fueling constantly.

According to him, in spite of its power challenge, people are still interested in using its services free of charge since the library is a national institution.

He said in spite that the reading culture was going down not just in Cross River, the branch still had an average of 100 persons coming to the library daily.

“For Nigeria, we have a lot of issues with our reading culture as the National Library. We have been carrying out campaigns to sensitise people, to inculcate in them the habit of reading and usage of the library.

“We try to encourage Nigerians to read, not just reading anything but important materials that will give them more information about their country.

“In our academic environment, the habit of reading is also dropping, students now rely on social media with documented information, our people only look for the entertainment aspect of the social media.

“The world is a global village and the social media is helping us to interact but it depends on what you are looking for in the social platform.

“Many of our people just use it for entertainment,” he said.

According to him, there is no information that people search for that the National Library cannot provide; whether within or outside the nation.

He said the National Library in Calabar had about 200,000 books from purchases by the Federal Government, grants from International Organisations and legal deposit materials.

The director said Nigerians who wrote about Nigeria also deposited books and materials with the library.

He, however, called for improved funding of libraries to enable them to perform effectively.

We also have power shortage and accommodation, we cannot stock many books here because of space until we move to the permanent place that we are trying to put up.”

He advised Nigerians to inculcate the habit of reading, irrespective of status in the society, stressing that “a reading nation is a leading nation.

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