The Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) management says it will extend the public library network, renovate more libraries, and increase its book stock by 2020.
Throughout 2019, the Authority introduced to its portfolio 255,887 new books, marking a rise of 40.50 per cent.
Mr Hayford Siaw, the Authority’s Executive Director, speaking at a press briefing, said the Authority proclaimed 2020 to be the Year of Education on the theme:’ 70 years of Transforming Minds by Libraries,’ commemorating its anniversary.
He said the government has spent ample resources to support the mission of the Authority to bind Ghanaians by creativity to information capital.
“We upgraded 25 public libraries in deplorable states in 2019, our Year of Reading, and expanded our reach from 61 libraries to 70 libraries to allow the public to connect with our libraries,” he said.
He said the emphasis was on fostering library attendance while facilitating national literacy.
“We want to be vigilant about the acquisition of knowledge and skills in our Platinum year because we agree that the ultimate outcome of reading should be the creation of fresh or evolving awareness when developing skills,” he added.
Mr Siaw said they would upgrade infrastructure, book stock, promotion of literacy, restoration, and increase in public libraries as part of their dream.
In the field of technology, the Executive Director said, they will implement innovative ideas throughout libraries across the country that would enhance reading and learning.
He said the Authority developed a Digital Library application called’ Ghana Library App’ in 2019, which automated its book processing operations, created a technology and innovation hub in Ashanti, Cape Coast and Eastern regions, and connected all regional libraries to the internet.
He said the Authority, with the help of the Commonwealth of Education, will grant a full scholarship to 1,000 Ghanaians to enrol on the Udemy online learning site.
“We do plan to set up our Unified Library Management Program junior and senior high school libraries,” he added.
On encouraging literacy, he said, “It will collaborate with the media to disseminate reading and learning knowledge to raise awareness of libraries ‘ presence and embark on a national” Learn to Walk “in January 2020 to raise awareness of reading.
He said the Authority would also coordinate activities linked to literacy such as Personality Reads, Reading Festivals, and set up more clubs for reading.
Mr Siaw said that the Authority made progress in its 2019 Reading Year, and beyond renovating 25 of its public libraries and increasing footprint from 61 to 70, library patronage and membership are on the rise.