Literacy Learning Spaces: The Special Role of the Library in the Conversion,
Preservation and Dissemination of the lgbo oral tradition
and indigenous knowledge.
Anthony Chukwuma lzuchukwu
Department of Library and information Science,
University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
The lgbos of the south-East Nigeria have rich cultural heritage admired and coveted by the rest of the World. Most of these admirable art forms regrettably are in danger of extinction because they exist only in oral forms. The death of a custodian of this remarkable culture has been equated with the destruction of a large library. Apart from the conventional oral cultural heritage such as the folktales, folk songs and dances, myths and legendary tales, there are other interesting Igbo oral traditions and indigenous knowledge that need not only documentation but also revival. These include blacksmithing, bone-setting tradition, tradition therapy (eg, herbal medicine and psychotherapy), traditional cloth and basket waning, traditional pottery, to mention only these few. There is no doubt however that if nothing is done, the culture and what it represents will soon phase out. This could be averted with the special intervention of the librarian who will not only convert and preserve these rich heritage in print, audio and visual forms but also disseminate them to other cultures. This paper therefore provides various clues on how in this remarkable role, the librarian can save a generation from the hazzard of natural death, invariably promoting learning and literary. This way, the culture of the people can be placed at par and compete favourably with other cultures especially in this information age where no one Stands aloof as others get aggressivelv digitized.
Keywords: literacy, lgbo culture, preservation, indigenous knowledge, oral tradition