Publications of the Children’s Centre – Booklets, Annual reports, Newsletters

Publications about the Children’s Centre and its programs

Publications on African children’s literature

Publications of the Children’s Centre

Children’s Centre: Celebrating 25 Years of Service. 2003. 44 p. Contents – What is the Children’s Centre? Origins: An idea that grew; celebration of the International Year of the Child; playground development; launching of the project; IYY workshop on youth and the family, 1985; children’s week of 1989; donation of Madam Hulder Iwuanyanwu Building. Activities and programmes: Christmas caroling; Children’s Centre Library; long vacation and club activities; motherless babies project; prison library; Psycho-Educational Testing Service; publications. The future. Contributors. Download Now

Children’s Centre Cook Book. 2003.

Revised & enlarged from the 1986 ed. 28 p.
Contents – Baking; Nigerian dishes; international dishes; drinks. Learn how to make moi moi (bean pudding), chin chin, ukwa (breadfruit), escovitched fish, soursop shake, Scandinavian coffee cake, Irish stew, pumpkin cake, coconut spice pudding, and many more.

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Children’s Centre Library

University of Nigeria, Nsukka. 1996.15 p .
Contents – The journey so far; personnel; facilities; collection development; circulation; activities/programmes; donors/contacts;…and the path ahead; Children’s Centre Library Committee 1977-1996.

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             The Children’s Centre Annual Reports Downloads

Report 2016 – 2017 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD             Report 2015 – 2016 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Report 2013 – 2014 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD             Report 2012 – 2013 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Report 2011 – 2012 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD             Report 2010 – 2011 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Report 2009 – 2010 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD            Report 2008 – 2009 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Report 2007 – 2008 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD            Report 2006 – 2007 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Report 2005 – 2006 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD            Report 2004 – 2005 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Report 2003 – 2004CLICK TO DOWNLOAD             Report 2002 – 2003 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Report 2001 – 2002 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

The Children’s Centre Newsletter Downloads

Newsletter 17 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD                       Newsletter 12 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Newsletter 16 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD                      Newsletter 11 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Newsletter 15 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD                       Newsletter 10 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Newsletter 14 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD                       Newsletter 9 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

Newsletter 13 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD                       Newsletter 8 CLICK TO DOWNLOAD


Publications about the Children’s Centre and its programs

Dike, V. W., Onyebuchi, G. U. & Babarinde, E. T. (2015).  Creating literacy learning spaces through group reading strategies: The Children’s Centre Library vacation experience.

Literacy, while still essential for both personal and national development, has evolved far beyond the ability to read and write print; the concept is now applied to varied media in such forms as visual literacy, aural literacy, computer literacy and information literacy. It is best developed through conducive and nurturant learning spaces in libraries, schools, and communities, spaces supporting a wide variety of activities, including numerous group reading strategies.  This paper identifies the Children’s Centre Library of the University of Nigeria as such a literacy learning space. It describes the use of learning spaces for literacy development during the 2013 and 2015 vacation programs by detailing the use of eight group reading strategies:  sustained silent reading, story hours, play with toys and games, book clubs, competitions in spelling and quizzes, art activities, comic book writing, and book making.  The paper concludes that the Children’s Centre Library vacation experience provides an example of literacy learning spaces in action.

Osadebe, N.E., Babarinde, E., Dike, V.W., and Emejulu, O. (2014).  Contriving favorable literacy learning spaces & opportunities for children and young adults on long vacation: The 2013 Children’s Centre experience.  Literacy and Reading in Nigeria: Journal of the Reading Association of Nigeria (RAN), 15(2), 147-153.

In order to promote the literacy of children in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and its environs, the Children’s Centre Library of the university coordinates a yearly program that provides a literacy learning space offering recreational and educational opportunities and develops literacy in all its forms.  This year’s program operated within August-September2013, with 214 children ages 3 to 18 divided into four ages groups: nursery-kindergarten, primary 1-3, primary 4-6, and secondary. Prominent among the activities were story hour, use of big books, making pocket books, comic book writing, drama, dance, cookery, writing biographies, and computer training.  The program revealed that such activities help in determining the interest of each child and developing the intellect of children. Through continuation of activities like these, children will develop their cognitive reasoning and reading habits. It is recommended that extracurricular activities that can promote literacy skills should be promoted over and above lessons during vacation.

Dike, V.W., Eke, H.N., & Babarinde, E.T. (2013).  Social media and reading among secondary school students in Enugu State, NigeriaMousaion: South African Journal of Information Studies 31(1), 60-81.

The extensive use of social media by young people in many countries has raised concerns among adults, who are apprehensive about its effect on reading habits as well as literacy and communication skills. To what extent, however, does this situation apply to a developing country like Nigeria? This paper set out to explore this question by looking at patterns of social media use among secondary school students in Enugu State.  Adopting a descriptive survey design, the study examined the use of social media by students in six secondary schools in Enugu and Nsukka, the two urban centers in the state.  Questionnaire and focus group discussion were employed to collect the data. Findings were that access to and use of social media was limited, more so for junior than for senior secondary students. The young people used the media primarily for social and information-seeking purposes, and less for entertainment. Major benefits of social media use related to developing new skills, gaining access to information, and extending social contacts, while major dangers were perceived to be addiction, cyber bullying, and loss of study time. Students had positive attitudes toward reading as compared to social media; at the same time they were concerned that social media use could have negative effects on reading and suggested possible approaches.  The researchers recommended that educators and librarians take advantage of Nigerian young people’s seriousness of purpose and interest in both informational and social use of the media to utilize the media for broad educational purposes.

Osadebe, N. E. (2013).  Football: An innovative way to attract teenagers to the library.  Journal of Library Innovation 4(1), 10-20.

Attracting teenagers to libraries has always been a challenge. To do this, the Children’s Centre Library of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka combined a book club with a football club and made active library membership a prerequisite for joining.

Dike, V. W. & Ngwuchukwu, M. N. (2012). The role of prison libraries in promoting literacy for reformation, rehabilitation, and restoration of inmatess in two Nigerian prisons.  In Cross-disciplinary perspectives in literacy and languge studies, 1: essays in honour of Chukwuemeka Eze Onukaogu, edited by O. Emejulu & I. Isiugo-Abanihe (p. 71-89).  Kampala: International Development in Africa Committee, International Reading Association.

Dike, V. W., Ngwuchukwu, M. N. & Onyebuchi, G. U.  (2011). Developing information literacy through primary school libraries in Nigeria.  In Global Perspectives on School Libraries: Projects and Practices, edited by L. Marquardt & D. Oberg (p. 108-117).  IFLA publication 148.  Berlin:  De Gruyter Saur.  This project evolved in response to the need for Nigerian children to develop information literacy that would equip them for lifelong learning in a situation where resourses are few and the learning environment uncongenial.  Set in public primary schools in the town of Nsukka and surrounding rural communities, the project set out to develop functional primary school libraries providing the requisite learning resources and opportunities for information literacy; teach information skills through project work using community and library resources; conduct workshops to equip teacher-librarians with skills in the organization and use of libraries and teachers with capabilities for using library resources in teaching and learning; and develop curriculum modules for library periods integrating information and library use skills with curricular content.  The chapter describes the three phases of the project, the strategies adopted for developing information literacy and the lessons learned.

Dike, V. W., Amucheazi, O. N. and Ajogwu, M. N. (2007). Developing literacy and lifelong learning through project work in Nigerian primary schools.  Literacy and Reading in Nigeria, 11(1), 18-25.

How can Nigerian primary school children develop literacy for lifelong learning? What resources might be exploited and what learning opportunities organized for the acquisition of reading and learning skills? This paper assesses several strategies employed for developing literacy among primary school children in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, using a questionnaire administered to teachers as the primary instrument. The first is use of project work, whereby pupils gain information from local resources such as people, markets, animal and plant life, through observation and interview. Others involve efforts to build up school libraries as a way of making more reading materials and information sources available to pupils and the use of library activities such as drama, quiz and debate.

Dike, V. W. & Amucheazi, O. N. (2003). Information literacy education in Nigeria: Breaking down barriers through local resources.” IASL reports, 2003: School libraries breaking down barriers. Selected papers from the 32nd conference of the International Association of School Librarianship, Durban, South Africa, July 7-10, 2003, 196-205. IASL. This paper explores the prospects of information literacy education in Nigerian primary schools. It is argued that while information literacy is essential for attaining the objectives of Nigerian education, a number of barriers stand in the way. These include the learning environment, lack of resources, language and literacy problems, and teacher orientation and teaching practice. The information literacy project described in this paper, based in seven public primary schools in the Nsukka area, is attempting to break down the barriers through innovative use of available local resources, such as people in the community and features of the natural environment.

Dike, V. W.  (2002). A prison library service in Nigeria.  Journal of Librarianship and Information Science in Africa, 2(1), 26-37. IFLA Africa Section. Prisoners, like other persons, need library services to exercise their fundamental human right to information. Libraries can play an even greater role in the lives of prisoners, due to their disadvantaged status. Library services are essential to the modern correctional objectives of reformation and rehabilitation. Yet, prison libraries are yet to be developed in many parts of the world. This paper places prison libraries in an international context while examining one prison library service in Nigeria. It analyzes the role and use of the Nsukka Prison Library over a two-year period, finding that it serves broad personal, educational and recreational purposes. The quality of personnel was identified as a key factor in creating effective library services. The paper recommends that the Nigerian Prisons Service embark upon systematic library development in all prisons, that library services be developed in coordination with educational and other prisoner welfare services, and that professional associations, public libraries and other agencies extend their supportive role.

Dike, V. W.  (2002). Portable libraries as vehicles of literacy development: A library service to pupils and prisoners at Nsukka, Nigeria.  In Proceedings of the 2nd Pan African Conference on reading for all, October 2001, Abuja, Nigeria. International Reading Association. This paper describes the Children’s Centre portable libraries projects to a primary school and the prison, analyzing patterns of use and borrowing and the observed effects of the portable libraries on voluntary reading. Problems encountered revolve around personnel, time, materials, accommodation and integration of the library with the institutional programme. The paper recommends development of networks within government agencies, such as public libraries and state primary education boards, portable libraries as a stimulus to full library development, and provisions for personnel and training.

Kalu, W. J. (1997). Challenges of childhood education: Sub-Saharan African experience. A paper presented at the 2nd World Congress on Family Law and the Rights of Children and Youth, Education that is Culture Specific and Sustaining, San Francisco, California, June 2-7. The paper examines the broad features of major experiences that are shaping childhood education in sub-Saharan Africa. The attacks on traditions and economics of countries continue to change the configuration of educational plans and the attempts at cultural relevance and sustenance.
Children in sub-Saharan Africa tend to suffer educational upheavals and frustrations more than alienation. Communal attempts at intervention within and outside the continent should be encouraged as an interim measure. The Children’s Centre experience illustrates such efforts.

Dike, V. W. & Amucheazi, O. N. (1997).  Information for all: Resource generation and information repackaging in Nigerian schools. In Information rich but knowledge poor? Emerging issues for schools and libraries worldwide, ed. by Lynne Lighthall & Ken Haycock, 245-250. IASL.

Is a developing country like Nigeria information rich or information poor? The first impression is of scarcity, but closer examination reveals unexplored riches. There is a wealth of information in the oral tradition, but it is not found in schools and libraries. There is information in libraries, but language and reading level make it inaccessible to schoolchildren. What role might libraries play in resolving the information dilemma in Nigerian primary schools? This paper explores the use of resource generation from oral tradition and information repackaging from oral and written sources in creating an information and knowledge rich environment for all children.

 Dike, V. W. (1996). Expanding the educational horizons of Nigerian schoolchildren. In Proceedings of the 25th annual conference of the IASL held in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, July 29-August 4, 1996. The paper begins by introducing the Children’s Centre Library and the Nigerian educational system. It then discusses ways of expanding educational horizons through voluntary reading, giving examples of a project encouraging reading among secondary school students, a reading club, and a story hour series introducing countries around the world. Efforts to expand resources for teaching and learning in disadvantaged primary schools identified literacy and personnel as key factors and therefore focused on in-service training for teachers and development of appropriate reading materials.
Dike, V. W. (1995). Literacy without libraries: Promoting literacy among schoolchildren in Nigeria.  In Literacy: Traditional, cultural, technological. Selected papers from the 23rd annual conference of the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL) held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., July 17-22, 1994, 33-41. IASL. How does one help children develop literacy where they have limited access to books and libraries? The paper examines this question in the context of the reading promotion outreach of the Children’s Centre Library to primary schools in Nsukka, Nigeria. It begins by outlining the obstacles to literacy in Nigeria, which include socio-cultural factors, the second language problem, the nature of the educational system, and the lack of access to books and other resources for reading. Based on several small projects, observations are made concerning the children’s access to books, cultural resources, and audiovisual media and on their reading level and response to books. The paper recommends providing books by developing school libraries and local book production; changing education by expanding the curriculum, making education more learner-centered, and resolving the language problem; and developing programmes of literary mediation through story hours and reading clubs.

Kalu, W. J. (1983). Developing a concept for childhood survival in modern Nigeria. School Psychology International 3, 161-168. 
Numerous problems face childhood in contemporary Nigeria. This paper discusses the main features of the problems as they affect the two major institutions for socialization, the family and the schools. The needs of the modern Nigerian child, especially for his future survival, are highlighted. A description is given of the Children’s Centre project which is now in operation in one of the Nigerian University Campuses. It serves as an interpretation of a new positive concept of childhood survival necessary to meet the challenges posed on such a level in a developing country.

Publications on the African Children’s Literature Research Collection

Dike, V.W.  (2012). Exploring relevance and appeal as stories travel across cultures.  Sankofa:  A Journal of African Children’s and Young Adult Literature  11, 23-34. What stories do Nigerian children need?  This single question raises a number of related questions of literary relevance and appeal.  What kinds of stories will be relevant to children in Nigeria? What does relevance entail?  What stories appeal to Nigerian children?  The article explores these questions by considering the relevance and appeal of folktales, both for children in Nsukka, Nigeria and internationally.

Dike, V. W.  (2011). Meeting the challenges of publishing for children in Nigeria. Sankofa: A Journal of African Children’s and Young Adult Literature 10, 6-15.  Picture books make many contributions to a child’s reading and personal development and are ideally children’s first books, yet few such books are available in Nigeria. After a brief history of Nigerian picture book publication, this article explores the efforts of three Nigerian publishers have made to produce picture books that meet the needs of younger children, focusing on the philosophy and publications of Lantern Books (Literamed), Farafina (Kachifo) and Cassava Republic Press. The article concludes with a discussion of strategies for overcoming challenges.

Dike, V. W. (2008). Growing up on the hard side: Male adolescent experience in contemporary Nigeria.” Sankofa: A Journal of African Children’s and Young Adult Literature 7, 23-31. This article examines the experience of adolescent males growing up in difficult circumstances as seen in three novels. Uzodinma Iweala’s Beasts of No Nation views life from the perspective of a boy soldier in an unidentified West African civil war. Chris Abani’s Graceland portrays the experience of an adolescent uprooted from stable family life in an Igbo village to life with a derelict father in the slums of Lagos. Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun illuminates the life of a houseboy growing up during the Nigerian Civil War. Themes considered include the role of family and culture, relationships with fathers, sexual awareness, and sources of strength and identity.

Dike, V. W. (2006).  Developing fiction for today’s Nigerian youth.” Sankofa: A Journal of African Children’s and Young Adult Literature 4, 6-17The article considers realistic fiction for Nigerian young people aged 11 to 19 years in relation to their needs, interests and circumstances. The paper documents the body of fiction literature written for Nigerian young people, tracing its history from the beginnings in the 1960s, through its blossoming in the 1980s, to the present day. It then examines the characteristics of the novels in terms of societal realities and the personal concerns and challenges facing youth, focusing on eight novels. Finally, the author explores questions of availability and access and the way forward in providing literature of relevance and quality for Nigerian youth. A variation of this paper was presented at the IBBY Congress in Capetown, South Africa, September 3-7, 2004.

Dike, V. W. & Chijioke, M. E. (1993). Thirty years of Nigerian juvenile fiction, 1960-1990: A bibliography. Anambra State School Libraries Bulletin 18(1/2), 28-41.

Dike, V. W. (1992). The world of Nigerian children’s literature: Its role in providing the personal touch.  In School libraries in a diverse world: Providing the personal touch. Proceedings of the 20th annual conference International Association of School Librarianship, 30-42. IASL.
Nigerian children’s literature can play a role in providing the personal touch, within Nigeria and beyond. In Nigerian school libraries, literature can help children understand themselves and others in a complex and heterogeneous world. The same literature can make the lives of Nigerian children and youth more immediate and understandable to those on other continents. The paper looks at twelve titles of realistic fiction for ages 9 – 16 in terms of describing the Nigerian cultural and physical environment, the challenges of growing up, and societal values and issues.

Dike, V. W. (1990).  Documenting African children’s literature. Paper presented at the IFLA General Conference of 1990 held in Stockholm, Sweden, Round Table on Children’s Literature Documentation Centres.
This paper begins by describing the Children’s Centre Library research collection and its efforts to document African children’s literature. It then traces the development and provides an overview of African children’s literature. Finally, the paper discusses some of the problems the library has encountered in developing its collection.

Dike, V. W. (1983).  Sharing literature for effective social education: The example of African literature. In Sharing: A challenge for all. Proceedings of the 11th Annual conference International Association of School Librarianship, compiled and edited by John G. Wright, 59-73. IASL. The paper seeks to explore ways in which the sharing of literature from many lands can further the aims of social education. This is because the relationships and dilemmas which are the focus of both social education and literature pose dilemmas without easy solution. The author explores African novels suitable for secondary school students outside Africa. These include works by Camara Laye, John Munonye, Mongo Beti, Buchi Emecheta, Chinua Achebe, Sembene Ousmane, Elechi Amadi, Nkem Nwankwo, Vincent Ike, T. M. Aluko and Ayi Kwei Armah on the themes of growing up, inequality and justice, conflict, and the individual and society.