Ghana to join the international community to mark the World Book Day, slated for March 7.
In view of the celebration, the Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) has outlined measures to demonstrate their commitment to enhancing and improving library services to enable more people to access the libraries.
The global community has tagged the first Thursday of March every year to celebrate the joys of books and reading.
Speaking to Ghana News Agency in an interview, Mr. Hayford Siaw, GhLA Acting Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) explained that; “We want to take the opportunity for this year’s commemoration to create awareness on the books and the resources that we have in our repository.
The world book day, which is an annual event celebrated globally in the months of March and April on their global calendar, “we have high profile personalities who would participate to encourage and help build reading habits in the youth”.
Mr Siaw named some of the high-profile personalities who would participate as the British High Commissioner and His wife as well as Paul Boateng, former British Labour Party Member of Parliament who is also the board chair for Book Aid International.
He said “March 7, is a perfect date for these dignitaries to attend the unprecedented ‘World Book Day’ in the history of Ghana Library”.
He said creating awareness to Ghanaians is an integral part for development so that people would patronises GhLA services.
Mr Siaw said, “to create awareness is not about personalities, but about the resources at GhLA’s disposal, if we say we have libraries and we don’t tell the public the kind of books and other resources available, nobody will know about it, and patronise our services”.
“We are adding 15 new libraries to our network this year we currently have 61 libraries that we manage.
“Out of a current total book collection of 556, 865 are the number of books we have in our shelves but, in 2019, we are adding 100,000 more books and already 30, 000 books have been added so we have 70, 000 more to go within the year,” he said.
“Let’s not forget that globally, people visit the library not to borrow books from the shelves, but will also provide the space for self-learning and that is also our role.
“So, library should not be seen as only a place that you will only go and borrow books however, in other libraries, they have even chefs who teach people how to cook foods in libraries, people are learning pianos in library, people are leaning karate in libraries.
“This is what is happening around the world, coding, people are learning their computing, in Ghana a lot of people are taking their distance programmes sitting in our libraries because how many of us have study rooms in their houses,” Mr Siaw noted.