A large sum of books donated to the National University of Samoa (N.U.S) by the Victoria University of Wellington (V.U.W) will benefit beyond the University’s borders.
An estimated more than 14,000 university level texts books and reading materials were received by N.U.S this week.
The donation is also valued at a total of USD $40,000 (SAT $120,000).
The National University of Samoa’s Chief Librarian, Avalogo Nanai Togi Aifa'i Tunupopo says the donations contribute greatly to the N.U.S learning and teaching capacity.
“We heavily rely on these donations for our library needs because of the lack of resources we find here and the costs of important our own materials, it makes these types of offers vital to our university growth,” he said.
This donation came through Former Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Pasifika) AProf. Luamanuvao Winnie Laban and other staff members who are alumnae of the V.U.W.
Lumanuvao says the donations seeks no rewards from N.U.S. As a matter of fact, she says the V.U.W pushes collaborations with N.U.S as part of its recognition of its alumnae who have taken on greater tasks after being students of the university.
Meanwhile, in an age where technological advances continue to push the tide onto the classic ways of education, the Interim Vice Chancellor of the National University of Samoa, Prof. Silafau Sina Va’ai says books are still a vital part of education.
“We definitely embrace technology and the good that comes with it. It certainly has made it easy to access the materials we need and the students need,” she said.
“But there is a cost to all that, but with books, there is a personal feeling to it, that engages the reader in what they are learning,” she said.
She acknowledged the generous donation from V.U.W.
For N.U.S, the interim Prof. Silafau says in order to keep evolving in the teaching and learning capabilities of its students, more resources as such are appreciated.
However, N.U.S only has two libraries with each only being able to host an estimated total of 300 students at a time.
“The university has been growing, we started with a total 400 students to now an average of 3,300 per semester and that pits more students in our libraries which obviously cannot host a number that high,” says Avalogo.
At the moment, a blueprint plan for a bigger and more accommodating library for the University has been in the pipeline for almost four years. A library that Avalogo says would be able to store all 14,000 books donated and then some.
“It does demand a bigger library for the university. Not only will we be able to make these materials available to our students, but it will also provide them with a learning area where they study,” V.C. Prof. Va’ai added.
Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic and Research, Sau’ia Louise Mataia-Milo echoed in agreement to Prof. Va’ai’s comments.
“When it comes to books, it defines a person who is willing to learn and a library, would give them a home to learn. That is where we will find those who are thinkers, and thinkers are readers, and readers become leaders,” she added.
For the time being, the plans for the bigger library for N.U.S is only a picture on paper with the hopes that it does become a reality soon enough.
The books will be shared amongst other libraries across the country, including government and private libraries in Samoa, including other universities and tertiary institutes in Samoa.