Mr. Abayomi Tunji Agboola was born in Lagos on Saturday 14th September, 1946. He had his primary education at the Salvation Army Central School, Lagos from 1954 to 1961. Thereafter, he proceded to Ibadan City Academy, Ibadan for his secondary education from 1962 to 1966 and came out with distinctions in seven subjects.
His working career began in February 1968 when he was appointed as a Library Assistant by the University of Lagos Library. In 1971, he completed the professional examinations of the British Library Association and became an Associate of the Library Association (ALA). In 1973, he got a study leave from the University of Lagos to study for the Master of Library Science (MLS) degree at the Loughborough University of Technology, Leicestershire, U.K., 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 a Principal Librarian in 1984 before transferring his service to the newly established but now defunct Federal University of Agriculture, 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 then College of Science and Technology, University of Lagos, Abeokuta (COSTAB) until January 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.
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 which he completed on 24th May, 2011. After retiring from the service of the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in September 2011, Mr. Agboola was appointed as the pioneer University Librarian of Caleb University, Imota, Lagos, a private university which got its operational licence in 2008. In the last one year, he has had the challenge of restructuring the University Library to serve the needs of a modern university owing to the fact that the University did not employ experienced staff when it took off.
Mr. Agboola is a consumate library and information science professional who has spent over 42 years of his life in the profession. It can be proudly said of him that he is a born librarian. His attainment of the highest position anybody can aspire to reach in the university library career, that is, the chairmanship of the Committee of University Librarians of Nigerian Universities CULNU from 2009 to 2011 and his invitation to serve on the Board of the National Library of Nigeria (a federal government agency), proved his calibre as a thorough-bred professional librarian.
Mr. Agboola was also instrumental to the attraction of several print and e-books to the Library of the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, the latest being the donation of 22,000 volumes of current books by ‘Books for Africa’, a USA based philantropic organisation in February, 2011. He has also arranged a similar donation of 22,000 volumes of books to the Library of Caleb University, Imota, Lagos where he no now works and it is expected that as soon as the university is able to process the mandatory Form M for their importation with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the books will be shipped in to boost the library collection.
An aspect of librarianship Mr. Agboola is well known to be very interested in and in which he has published extensively is library building and planning. He exhibited this expertise when he had the opportunity to write the architect’s brief for the ‘Nimbe Adedipe Library building of the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in the formative years of the University. The success of his brief is no doubt reflected in the functionality and aesthetics of the library building. Visitors far and wide have commended the building which has remained ever new since its commissioning in 1992.
Related to this is Mr. Agboola’s interest in research and publication as well as mentoring of his younger colleagues. He has to his credit over forty publications in reputable local and international journals and his publications are highly cited for their insight and quality. Many of these publications had his junior colleagues as co-authors, an 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 of the Nigerian Library Association as a junior librarian, he held several executive positions. In the Ogun State Chapter, Mr. Agboola served for two terms each as the Vice State Chairman and State Chairman respectively. He has also served on the National Council of the Nigerian Library Association. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Gateway Library Journal: Journal of the Ogun State Chapter of the Nigerian Library Association, one of the leading library and information science journals in Nigeria.