The Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) has signed a partnership collaboration with Book Aid International, one of the world’s largest book donors, to begin a book shipment to support Ghana’s public school and special libraries.
The signing of the partnership is as a result of series of meetings between the Authority led by its Acting Chief Executive Officer, Hayford Siaw, and Chief Executive Officer of Book Aid International Alison Tweed.
In April 2018, Mr Siaw reached out to Book Aid International in a bid to negotiate a restoration of a broken partnership of more than two decades with Ghana.
This was followed with visit by Mr Siaw to London to meet with Book Aid team.
Alison Tweed paid a reciprocal visit to Ghana in July 2018 to assess the state of the Ghana library.
The two executives agreed on the need to revive libraries in Ghana through making available new and appropriate materials that meet the aspiration of library users in Ghana.
Mr. Siaw, during his analysis, explained that past policies as well as inertia on the part of the GhLA, have all contributed to the stagnation of growth at GhLA.
He was happy to note, however, that the current President, Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, as well as the Minister of Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, are all personalities who deeply cherish and have the development of libraries in their immediate priorities.
“Fortunately for the GhLA, our current President has an astounding interest in education, and he is committed to ensuring quality learning environments for everyone, especially children, hence the renewed commitment to strengthen the public library system to deliver on its mandate,” Mr. Siaw affirmed.
He added: “In the past few months, GhLA has created the largest book processing unit for any public library system in West Africa. We have established a new Acquisition and Distribution Unit, all in a bid to support the transformation of libraries in Ghana.”
Alison Tweed after the signing stated: “Book Aid International is proud to be partnering with the Ghana Library Authority as it works to become once more a first class service to the general public. We urge all those who want to read for pleasure or to improve their life chances to use their local libraries, where they will soon find brand new up-to-date books on all subjects donated by Book Aid International. We commend Mr Siaw, his team and all at the Ministry of Education for this renewed commitment to the importance of libraries for national development.”
Ghana Library Authority will be receiving books of commercial value of over half a million Pounds per year, unprecedented in recent years of the agency.
This will complement other government investments in book acquisition to resource libraries in the country.