The Ghana Library Authority (GhLA), in its bid to make 2019 the year of reading, has taken steps to establish school and community libraries to help increase healthy reading habits.
“The culture of Ghanaians not reading has been with us for long mainly because we do not have a proper school library system,” GhLA’s Chief Executive Officer, Hayford Siaw. He explained that in many countries, getting people to read started from schools. He stated he and his team are starting a school library transformation program to establish a school library department.
“GhLA wants to make Ghana a nation of readers,” Chief Executive Officer, Hayford Siaw said in an interview recently.
“The school libraries will give teachers the opportunity to recommend books for the children, then we build that culture (of reading). If we don’t build that culture in our schools, the culture will remain the same,” Mr. Siaw explained.
He added that once the library is created in schools to help increase reading among students, the parents can set up libraries in their homes to supplement the efforts of the school in increasing the reading habits in children.
Mr. Siaw said the GhLA is taking steps to absorb some community libraries that have collapsed. “A lot of district assemblies and NGOs have set up libraries without consulting the GhLA, so they are managed by unprofessionals and volunteers. What happens is that after one or two years these libraries collapse.”
“This year, as part of the reading strategy, we have absorbed 15 of those and through the NSS and NABCO deploy some people to manage the library facilities.”
For the people who do not have time to enjoy the luxury of being in the library, the GhLA is not leaving you out. The authority is creating a mobile app that helps citizens register and borrow books online without going to the library.