Excitement as Uyo hosts Book Clubs Conference
By Ada Anioji
Excitement is in the air as the Network of Book Clubs and Reading Promoters in Nigeria, NBRP is set to flag off its first national conference and Annual General meeting, AGM in the city of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, The Difference has gathered.
With membership spread across the nation, the event will hold from the 17th through the 19th of September, 2021.
Speaking on plans for the historic session, the president of the Network, Mr Richard Mammah told newsmen that the conference is a first of its kind in a very long time in the country in that it brings Book Clubs from every nook and cranny of the country to come and brainstorm on common challenges and engagement approaches.
Underscoring the critical importance of book clubs in the reading and books ecosystem as the last mile in the chain, stakeholders from across the different tiers of the book chain are also participating in the conference. They include the Nigerian Publishers Association, NPA and the Booksellers Association of Nigeria, BAN.
This year’s conference is themed : “The place of public libraries in the age of e-book and challenges of social reading” and notable book sector player are lined up as speakers. The keynote will be presented by Prof. Mrs Felicia Etim, University Librarian at the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State. Other speakers include Prof. Ahiaoma Ibegwam, the University Librarian at the University of Uyo; Chief Uchenna Cyril Anioke, President of the Nigerian Publishers Association (NPA); Dr. Nkem Osuigwe of the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA); Mr Dare Oluwatuyi, President of the Booksellers Association of Nigeria (BAN and Mrs. Funmi Ilori, founder of iRead Mobile Library.
Also addressing a press conference ahead of the commencement of the session in Uyo, the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for the Confernce and AGM, Dr Ekong Sampson said the event was aimed at reviving the culture of reading which has been on a steady decline in the Nigerian society.
The conference which is billed to take place at Watbridge Hotels & Suites, Uyo will feature over 40 Book and Literary clubs drawn from across Nigeria. Some of the line up of activities for the event include reviews, a keynote speech, tours, presentations by various clubs, spoken word, festschrifts, drama, cultural variety, and local delicacies.
The President of the Network, Mr Richard Mammah informed our correspondent that the Opening Ceremony which comes up on Friday September, 17, 2021 by 10am will be chaired by Chief Assam Assam, SAN, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Russia.
One of the highlights of the event is expected to be the declaration of the successor of Uyo as the second Annual Nigerian National Book Clubs City, an award which runs for one calendar year, and which sees the successful city engaging in massive and vigorous reading promotions activities within its extended catchment area.
Within its current hosting year, the Uyo Book Club under its founder, Dr Udeme Nana has successfully also championed the establishment of book clubs in Eket and Ikot Ekpene.
Mr Dare Oluwatuyi, President, Booksellers Association of Nigeria, BAN