AUN Leads with Africa’s First Digital Library

Ensign, Atiku, Demirhan-1As the American University of Nigeria prepares to unveil its new smart library this fall, Library Director Amed Demirhan is proudly describing how the University is leading the movement toward digital libraries around the world.

AUN recently received a Presidential Citation from the American Library Association for its International Innovative Library Projects. As Director of Africa’s only global library, Demirhan was interviewed in a recent issue of one of the UK’s most important newspapers, The Guardian: Higher Education Network, (See link below.)

“Since the Library was established in 2005, AUN has greatly expanded its services for the University community and pushed forward its goal of developing an e-learning strategy,” says Demirhan.

“In 2012, we decided to change the library’s traditional focus to the e-library. This year we are focusing on becoming a ‘mobile’ library. This includes the use of more mobile applications and better use of space, including the arrangement and shape of the library’s furniture. For example, all the following pieces of equipment have been replaced by a smartphone: scanner, desktop computer, laptop, photocopy machine, and telephone. This is providing a new level of efficiency and effectiveness. It saves money, is more environmentally friendly, consumes less electricity, and takes up less space.

“This focus on the latest technology has dramatically increased the library’s e-collections, both in subscribed and open access resources, which has increased user access 24/7, regardless of location.

“In 2013, the library has subscribed to more than 210,000 ebooks. This is more than most university libraries e-book collections in America.”

According to Demirhan, the AUN library has been actively collecting open access sources and promoting usage of these resources. “Open access is the best investment for expansion of global education and development. Our library also uses open collections to help other Nigerian universities and independent researchers. In 2012, the library trained 147 faculty and administrative staff from the Federal College of Education in Yola and 20 faculty members from Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola,” he added.

The Guardian publication singled out AUN, along with Oxford University, New York University, Manchester University, and six others around the world, for its extraordinary achievements. It was the only African library to make the list.

Founded in 2003, AUN is Africa’s first development university. It is inspired by Founder Atiku Abubakar’s vision that knowledge acquired must be applied to benefit all people. Located in Yola, AUN is the only private, co-educational American style university in sub-Saharan Africa.

AUN is training young Africans to assume leadership roles in their societies through a dynamic development process that is based on Africa’s vibrant cultures and rich past.

All students are required to participate in AUN’s development projects, which include literacy training using ICT, the Adamawa Peacemakers Initiative, and other community-based initiatives.

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