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Nigerian Library Association to investigate ICIR report on ‘intellectual trafficking’

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THE Nigerian Library Association (NLA) has said it will set up a committee to investigate a report published by the ICIR, which exposed how university librarians aid intellectual property theft by selling copies of students’ theses.

Umunna Opara, president of the association, which serves as an umbrella body to promote librarians’ professional interests, revealed this to the ICIR on Friday.

He described acts that aid plagiarism as gross professional misconduct and further assured that disciplinary actions will be taken against any librarian found guilty.

“The Nigerian Library Association, the professional umbrella body for all librarians in Nigeria, is totally against any act of plagiarism because the protection of intellectual property is one of the cardinal responsibilities of librarians,” Opara said.

“We do not encourage or condone acts of plagiarism, even among library users, let alone tolerating librarians aiding and abetting plagiarism.

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“It is a gross professional misconduct, and any librarian found to be involved irrespective of whatever sanction will be placed on him or her by his or her institution, the regulatory body, the Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria, certainly will take a disciplinary action, which is likely to be dismissive―if the person is a librarian.”

“You know some people masquerade as librarians but they are not,” he added. “A librarian is one who has undergone a period of training in any accredited library school in Nigeria and registered by the Librarians’ Registration Council of Nigeria.”

“If the people you encountered are truly librarians, certainly the regulatory body and the professional association will take serious disciplinary actions against such librarians. We are going to set up a committee to investigate your report, and any of our members found in such misconduct will be adequately sanctioned.”

However, in a statement released on Saturday and signed by Opara, the NLA alleged the ICIR of using “sensationalism and click bait headlines”.

It also maintained its readiness to investigate the claims made in the report and appropriately mete out sanctions.

On Thursday and Friday, the ICIR published a two-part report that indicted librarians and library workers of four top Nigerian universities of allowing students of other schools duplicate and plagiarise theses within their custody, usually for a price.

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