The Ghana Library Authority (GhLA), an agency of the Ministry of Education, has signed a partnership agreement with Book Aid International, one of the world’s largest book donors in Accra, to begin a book shipment to support Ghana’s public, schools and special libraries.
The signing of the partnership agreement is as a result of series of meetings between Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) led by the Chief Executive (Ag), Hayford Siaw, and Alison Tweed, Chief Executive of Book Aid International.
Mr. Siaw, in April 2018 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 a visit by Mr. Siaw to London to meet with the 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 Danquah AKufo-Addo, as well as the Minister of Education, Hon. 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.”
“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” he added.
Alison Tweed after the signing, stated that “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 British pounds per year, unprecedented in recent years of the agency.
This will compliment other government investments in book acquisition to resource libraries in the country.
About the Ghana Library Authority
The Ghana Library Authority (formerly Ghana Library Board), is the only institution mandated to establish, equip, manage and maintain public libraries in Ghana.
As part of it work, it also prepares guidelines for the establishment of public, community and school libraries. It maintains a network of 60 libraries across all ten regions.
It was established in 1950 from a £1,000 contribution donated by the late RT. Rev. John Orfeur Aglionby, the then Anglican Bishop of Accra.
In 1980, the agency had 1,006,720 books on its shelves, but currently has only 531,865.
About Book Aid International
Book Aid International is a UK registered charity which provides books and supports libraries in Africa and around the world.
Book Aid International is supported by many publishers who donate books to the charity which Book Aid International then sends to libraries overseas.
The charity only donates new books. His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh is the charity’s patron.
RT Hon. Lord Boateng is the charity’s Chair. In 2016, Book Aid International sent 1,032,610 to 3,583 libraries in 14 countries.