The Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) has declared 2020 a Year of Learning, as it coincides with its 70th anniversary.
The objective is to encourage people to read, as well as learn through various means.
This year marks 70 years of the establishment of the GhLA in 1949.
At a press conference in Accra last Monday, the Executive Director of the GhLA, Dr Hayford Siaw, said the authority was going to increase the use of technology in service delivery by setting up libraries on Integrated Library Management System (ILMS), increase the reach of mobile ICT libraries, provide laptops for regional and branch libraries, upgrade mobile applications, roll out mobile applications for senior high schools (SHSs), among others.
He said the authority would also improve the content of materials in the various libraries across the country, saying that it would involve increasing the stock of public and SHS library books by 20 per cent and developing a youth magazine in print and electronic and a digital library book stock.
Dr Siaw said as part of the anniversary celebration, the authority would promote public and school libraries by embarking on a street walk across the country to create awareness, organise personality reading at all regional and branch libraries, undertake a library membership drive, establish an endowment, as well as host conferences for NGOs in library development in Ghana, among other activities.
He said it would also increase the reach of library services by inaugurating new libraries and introducing additional mobile library vehicles, such as tricycles, in remote areas.
According to him, the GhLA would further assess all collapsed public libraries across the country to find ways of revamping them.
He said last year’s Year of Reading initiative was successful, since it promoted reading among the people.
Dr Siaw said between 2018 and 2019, there was a 107.90 per cent increase in library membership in the country, adding that during that period, there was also a 48.10 per cent increase in library visits.
He said through the introduction of new access points for the public to engage with libraries, the authority was able to increase its network of libraries from 61 to 70.
A total of 255,887 books were added to library stock, out of which 113,452 were from the government, 129,106 from Book Aid International and 23,329 from other donors, he said.
“These figures show that the Year of Reading initiative has been very effective throughout the year and if we apply that effort to promote the Year of Learning, the figures may double,” Dr Siaw added.