Mr. Abayomi Tunji Agboola was born in Lagos on Saturday,14th September 1946. He had his primary education in Salvation Army Central School, Central Lagos and Surulere from 1954 to 1961. Thereafter, he proceeded to Ibadan City Academy, Ibadan for his secondary education from 1962 to 1966. In 1967, he passed the GCE ‘A’ level in two papers.
His working career began in February 1968 at the University of Lagos Library where he was appointed as a Library Assistant. By 1971, he completed the professional examinations of the British Library Association and became an Associate of the Library Association (ALA), the qualification required to practice as a Librarian at that time. In 1973, he got the sponsorship of the University of Lagos to attend the Loughborough University of Technology, Leicestershire, U.K, Master of Library Science (MLS)/Master of Arts in Library Science Education (MALISE) programme which he completed with distinction in 1976.
In September 1976, Mr. Agboola was appointed Librarian II by the University of Lagos Library where he rose to become Principal Librarian in 1984 before transferring his service to the newly established but now-defunct Federal University of Technology, Abeokuta (FUTAB) as one of its two pioneering Librarians. With the merger of FUTAB with the University of Lagos in September 1984, Mr. Agboola became the College Librarian of the then College of Science and Technology, University of Lagos, Abeokuta (COSTAB) until 1988 when the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta came into existence. He acted as the head of the University Library until February 1991 when a substantive University Librarian was appointed.
When Mr Abayomi Agboola joined the University in 1984, he served as one of the two pioneer Librarians who established the library from the scratch. He took over as the College Librarian in October 1984 and by the time the University metamorphosized into UNAAB in 1988, the collection in the library had hit 16,000 volumes mark, fully catalogued and classified, and made available to users. He was also responsible for re-designing the temporary building allocated to the library.
In 1988, when the University came into being, Mr. A.T Agboola became a Principal Librarian and he was saddled with the preparation of the ‘Architects’ Brief for the new library building at the permanent site. The success of the brief is reflected in the aesthetics and functionality of the completed building we are in today.
As Deputy University Librarian between 1993 and 2001, his responsibilities included: Technical Services, he co-ordinated the library automation project, staff administration and discipline as well as liason with colleges and departments. He coordinated the World
Bank Project for the Library and also supervised the movement of the library from the temporary site at Isale-Igbein to the Permanent site between 1995 and 1998. He headed the Automation Project, supervised the Automation and putting the Library on the World-Wide-Web. He also attracted several e-databases and created awareness for their usage.
In May 2001, Mr. Agboola was appointed as the second University Librarian of UNAAB for five years in the first instance. His tenure was renewed for another term of five years in 2006 .
Mr. Agboola is a consummate library and information professional who has spent 43 out of his almost 65 years on earth in the library profession. We can proudly say of him that he is a born Librarian, through and through. Mr. Agboola’s first contact with the world of
books and libraries was in his final year in his secondary school days when he was made the Library Prefect. It could be safely inferred that this was what later shaped his life career.
His appointment by the University of Lagos as a Library Assistant in 1968 gave him the opportunity to realize his dream and he firmly seized this opportunity by equipping himself for future challenges. His attainment of the highest position anybody can reach in the library profession, Chairmanship of the Committee of University Librarians of Nigerian Universities inclusive, proved his caliber as a professional librarian.
An aspect of librarianship Mr. Agboola is known to be interested in and in which he has published extensively in library planning and architecture. This he exhibited when he had the opportunity of writing the architect’s brief for the ‘Nimbe Adedipe Library building.
The success of his brief is no doubt reflected in the functionality and aesthetics of the building which has been commended nationwide.
Related to this, is Mr. Agboola’s interest in research and publication as well as mentoring of younger colleagues. He has to his credit over forty publications in reputable local and international journals and his publications are highly cited for their quality. Some of these publications had his junior colleagues as co-authors, indication of his research leadership and mentoring ability.
In the library and information science profession, Mr. Agboola is well-known for his contributions. While he was in the Lagos State Chapter as a junior librarian, he held several executive positions including that of Assistant Secretary of the Chapter. In the Ogun State Chapter, Mr. Agboola served for two terms each as the Vice, State Chairman and State Chairman of the Association and during these periods, the Ogun State Chapter twice hosted the Annual General Meeting/Conferences of the Nigerian Library Association both of which were adjudged as very successful by any standard.
He has also served on the Board of the National Library of Nigeria. He has been the Chief Editor of Gateway Library Journal since its inception in 1998. He was a Chairman of the Committee of University Librarians of Nigerian Universities (CULNU).
Mr. Abayomi Tunji Agboola is happily married to a beautiful, supportive, ever-smiling woman, a seasoned administrator, the Deputy Registrar, INHURD, Mrs. Abiola Oluwabukunola Agboola and the union is blessed with five children (4 males,1 female) and grandchildren.
Award of First Degree to deserving graduands