The Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) as part of its 70th anniversary celebration has declared 2020, the ‘Year of Learning’ and has set out five targets to be achieved to boost the growth and reach of libraries in the country.
The celebration would be under the theme,’70 years of transforming minds through libraries’ and is expected to have transformational agendas across the country.
Mr Hayford Siaw, the Acting Executive Director GhLA, at an end of year meeting in Accra on December 30, last year disclosed, key targets set out by governing board of the authority to be achieved as part of the Platinum year celebrations.
He indicated that the first objective to be carried out this year was to increase the use of technology in service delivery for the authority.
“The GhLA in partnership with Commonwealth of Learning and Udemy, an online learning platform will roll out online courses to Ghanaians to take part in scholarship slots for 1000 Ghanaians in courses like accounting, marketing etc. We will also put libraries on an integrated system for easy monitoring of books and will extend this to Senior High School (SHS) libraries,” he added.
The Acting Executive Director added that materials for libraries and digital library books would be significantly increased and a youth magazine both online and print would be launched to feature stories from the youth.
“Thirdly public and school libraries will be promoted through street walks and community engagements to create awareness on libraries, the establishment ofan endowment fund to support GhLA and the celebration of a national reading day.
“Fourthly we would increase the reach of library services by launching a flagship anniversary library project, the ‘Frafraha-Amanfro’ library to be commissioned to serve the northern part of Greater Accra and the commissioning of 10 more libraries across the country,” he added.
Mr Siaw stated that the fifth target was the renovation of over 26 libraries within the countrythat were in deplorable states.
He urged members and employees of the GhLA to remain faithful to improving the state and relevance of libraries in the country.
Mr Siaw however added that 2019 being the year of reading saw monumental achievements for the GhLA such as an over 100 per cent increase in paid library memberships jumping from 7,246 members in 2016 to26,334 in 2019 and an increase in library visits from 393,430 visits in 2016 to 1,740,275 visits in 2019.
“Nine libraries were built bringing the total to 70 libraries spread across in all 16 regions with Eastern Region receiving seven and Western and Ashanti each receiving one along with an increase in book quantity from500,000 books in 2017 to over 900,000 in 2019,” he added.
BY FREDERICK GADESE-MENSAH