Booksellers tasked on giving back in Easter message
By Ada Anioji
The President of the Booksellers Association of Nigeria, BAN, Mr. Dare Oluwatuyi has in his 2021 Easter message, tasked members of the association on the imperative of giving back to the society.
According to him, one practical way this can be done is for booksellers in the country to wholeheartedly support the association’s involvement with the UN SDGs Book Clubs scheme that is due to be flagged off on April 23rd.
Oluwatuyi, who is also the Managing Director at CSS Bookshops Limited and official representative of the Pan African Booksellers Association, PABA in the UN SDGs Book Club African Chapter underscored the fact that there was indeed a convergence between the message of sacrifice that is pivotal to the Easter season and the demand imposed on the booksellers in society by the nature of their trade as they could not carry out their tasks in isolation of their social function.
The full text of the statement reads:
‘My dear colleagues in the book trade,
On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Booksellers Association of Nigeria (BAN), permit me to wish you and all your loved ones a very Happy Easter. May the risen Christ bring you and your family abundant happiness. May He bless you abundantly and bring lots of gladness to you and your families. Amen.
For Christians, this time is a reminder for us to continue to spread the Good News to the people around us, through our words and actions. And for Booksellers, let it be a reminder of the task bestowed on us by the Almighty God to spread information through the distribution of relevant educational materials both in print and e-copy using all lawful channels. As we do this, let us remember that we should carry out our businesses lawfully without causing injury to other parties and the Lord will bless our endeavours and crown it with bountiful profit. Amen.
It is important to appreciate that we cannot carry out our businesses in isolation. We rely much on other stakeholders in the book industry. The authors, publishers, printers and the librarians are all germane to our continuous existence and success in the trade. Beyond this, the end users of our merchandise, the customers are kings that we continue to hold in high esteem.
Furthermore, if we are to carry out our trade in Godly manners, this is equally “`inseparable from the performance of our social responsibilities“` . It is simply impossible for us to think that we can neglect our godly values while doing our businesses. We need to give back to the community within which we operate some of the bounties which God has blessed us with.
In this light, an opportunity has beckoned on us presently to participate actively in the newly established “`United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) Book Club African Chapter“` . The UN SDGs Book Club has been in existence in other continents but is just being introduced to Africa. The official launch of this chapter will come up on 23rd of April, 2021. I had shared the “`Frequently Asked Questions“` (FAQ) for the second time last Saturday. This should give you background information on the project. In summary, the project is to teach children from ages 6 to 12 good morals, first class societal values and the most excellent reading culture through the use of the different books that have been published and which touch on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
*What are the things expected of us as Booksellers?*
– Make the books available to end users in our bookshops: the Librarians, Book Clubs, Teachers, Parents and the children.
– Allow Book Clubs organise reading programmes within our bookshops
– Encourage the schools who are our customers to organise reading programmes in their schools.
– We are also encouraged to establish our own reading clubs and undertake reading promotions programmes.
It is entirely possible that the UN SDGs Book Club can go hand-in-hand with our business. We can carry out our duties as booksellers while at the same time performing this social responsibility which will attract traffic to our bookshops and companies; improve our turnover through the sale of the UN SDG Book Club titles and other merchandise.
I have shared the “`Bookshop Sign Up Form“` several times also (and will continue to share this till the Launch day) for us to join the project as individual booksellers which is free of any direct costs. Whatever cost if any that we may incur will be to promote and attract customers’ traffic to our business. Please feel free to reach out to me for any query.
Finally, I would like to once again emphasise that being a bookseller is a passion and is God’s gift to us. Let us see it as a privilege to serve humanity. For that reason, it is our ancillary obligation to use the gift to help the different segments of our publics, and in this case, from the cradle, the children, to imbibe a mutually beneficial reading culture that will help guarantee the engulfment of our grand dreams for our society. I sincerely pray that the Spirit of this season will guide our thoughts and be with us in all our actions.
Mr. Dare Oluwatuyi