Let’s leverage technology to make libraries more open – Dr Hamid

Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid(fifth from left) with the participants. Photo Victor A. Buxton

Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid(fifth from left) with the participants. Photo Victor A. Buxton

The Minister of Information, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has advocated the development of a digital library for all academic and research books from tertiary institutions across the country.

He said leveraging advancement in technology to make libraries more open would facilitate access to information for research which is a key to national policy formulation.

Underscoring the significance of research, he noted that “Africa is not going to come out of its present mess without research. Research should form the basis of every public policy and for every national development issue”.

He was speaking at the opening of the third national conference of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Ghana (CARLIGH) and the Association of African Universities (AAU) in Accra yesterday.

More than 100 participants across the world are attending the five-day conference which started on Monday on the theme “Managing Research Outputs for National Development; Trends and Issues.”

It aims to facilitate and deliberate on issues affecting research and chart the way forward.

Dr Abdul-Hamid said the government’s decision to establish a research fund soon was underpinned by its recognition for the important role research played in nation building.

He urged the CARLIGH to also organise fairs and other events to create awareness of its stock and also whip up interest in their use as well as make the libraries more attractive for students and other patrons.

Former Minister of Education, Prof. Naana Opoku-Agyemang delivering the key note address, urged academic and research libraries to find innovative ways of disseminating research output to all irrespective of literacy levels.

She said they should move out to the people through whatever means necessary- translation, seminars, public education and effective methodologies in order to create equal access to knowledge.

The former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) said it was in doing so that knowledge accrued from research could lead to true national development.

“The culture of libraries must be amended to meet the needs of an economy in which participation by the informal sector remains strong and levels of illiteracy are significant,” Prof. Opoku- Agyemang stated.

She said research could support Africa’s transformation agenda and strive towards the achievement of the sustainable development goals and therefore stressed the need for governments to provide funding for research.

Dr Joel Sam, Chairperson  of the CARLIGH Management Committee, for his part,   said there was the need to use research as a tool for development and pledged the commitment of the consortium to continue to create the conducive environment  for research.

By Jonathan Donkor and Audrey Dzifa Sika

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