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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


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.


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.


Annual Reports
Annual Report 2011-2012
Annual Report 2010-2011
Annual Report 2009-2010
Annual Report 2008-2009
Annual Report 2007-2008
Annual Report 2006-2007
Annual Report 2005-2006
Annual Report 2004-2005
Annual Report 2003-2004


Children’s Centre Newsletter

No. 15 (September 2010)
No. 14 (September 2009)
No. 13 (May 2009)
No. 12 (September 2007)
No. 11 (July 2005)
No. 10 (March 2004)
No. 9 (December 2002)
No. 8 (July 2001)
No. 7 (December 1998)
No. 6 (July 1996)
No. 5 (August 1995)
No. 4 (April 1994)
No. 3 (August 1989)
No. 2 (December 1988)
No. 1 (November 1986)

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Publications about the Children’s Centre and its programs

Dike, V. W., O. N. Amucheazi, and M. N. Ajogwu. " Project work as a way of developing literacy for lifelong learning in Nigerian primary schools." Paper presented at the conference of the Reading Association of Nigeria, held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State from April 19-22, 2006. 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. & O. N. Amucheazi.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, 2003. 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. “A prison library service in Nigeria.” Journal of Librarianship and Information Science in Africa, 2(1) 2002, 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.

Kalu, W. J. (1983). “Developing a concept for childhood survival in modern
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.

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. “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. In press.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.

Dike, V. W. & O. N. Amucheazi. “Information for all: Resource generation and Information repackaging in Nigerian schools.” In Information rich but knowledge poor? Emerging issues for schools and libraries worldwide, edited by Lynne Lighthall and Ken Haycock, 245-250. IASL, 1997. 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. “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. “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, 1995. 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.

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Publications on the African Children’s Literature Research Collection

Adebisi, Yemi. "Nigeria: In Search of Viable Content for Children Literature. Daily Independent (Lagos) 17 Jan. 2010. At http://allafrica.com/stories/201001180740.html. Report on lecture by Virginia W. Dike at the Association of Nigerian Authors' workshop on children's literature held at the American University in Nigeria, Yola, Oct. 16, 2009.

Dike, V. W. "Growing up on the hard side: Male adolescent experience in contemporary Nigeria." Sankofa: A Journal of African Children’s and Young Adult Literature 7, 2008, 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. “Developing fiction for today’s Nigerian youth.” Sankofa: A Journal of African Children's and Young Adult Literature 4 (2006), 6-17. The 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. “Thirty years of Nigerian juvenile fiction,
1960-1990: A bibliography.”
Anambra State School Libraries Bulletin
18(1/2) 1993, 28-41.

Dike, V. W. “The world of Nigerian children’s literature: Its role in providing the personal touch.” In School libraries in a diverse world: Providing thepersonal touch. Proceedings of the 20th annual conference International Association of School Librarianship, 30-42. IASL, 1992.
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. “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. “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, 1983. 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.

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