Concentration

Are boys better “book-slayers” and library users than girls? 

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I thought of this when I snapped this picture of Nnamdi Azikiwe Library, University of Nigeria, Nsukka a few weeks ago.  Then I observed a lot of boys made use of the library than the girls. All I could see was babes slaying around with natural hair things, all manner of hairstyles, then pouting and taking selfies along the walkways in school. I may be wrong, but I seriously observed that boys have started using our library more than girls and I ask myself: ‘where are the girls’? Could they be cooking in the hostels, in class or in bed?

I think with the present situation of this country where just ‘slaying’ cannot put food on your table, boys have to work hard to become the next gen leaders. Girls can afford to slay up and down, here and there, and one way or the other (according to a source), but as for boys? Na na na…boys already know they have to hustle for their future family. And so, ‘slaying’ ain’t for boys because they must work hard for the future. Better still, boys are becoming​ ardent library users and “bookslayers”.

As a librarian, and Sustainable Development Goals  (SDGs) advocate, there is need to engage the girls in learning, to achieve SDG5 (Gender Equality). But then, girls tend to discriminate against themselves by not getting serious with their studies. Who then is to blame? The library is open to all – boys and girls, so why only boys? I asked some girls why they don’t usually visit the library. Read the response:

     Girl 1:  I love reading in the bed while I play my music

     Girl 2: I lost my library card and don’t have the strength to go apply for a replacement

     Girl 3: Boys disturb me a lot in the library because they say I’m pretty. That’s why I avoid going to the library. It has become a distraction to use the library. I must not visit the library to pass my exams.

       Girl 4: I will start visiting the library when they start permitting us to enter with our bags. 

After the interrogation, I was able to convince some of them to start visiting the library, not only when they have assignments or exams. I think I will start a follow-up on these students. Our girls need to become bookslayers.  What do you think?

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helen.okpala

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