The Ghana Library Authority (GLA) will soon re-launch its mobile van library services in all the 10 regions to reach out to communities, especially the double track students at home “to have some sort of reading materials to keep them abreast”.
Mr Hayford Siaw, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the GLA, announced this on Friday when the GLA Management visited the Ghana News Agency (GNA), to seek collaboration for their programmes and activities for 2019.
He said the GLA received financial support from government to repair the vans to kick start the exercise, and that, currently the vans are in the workshop undergoing fittings for the re-launch exercise.
The GLA, he said, has positioned itself to ensure that all students at home could easily get some reading materials from the nearest branches or districts and assured that it would soon re-launch its mobile van services in the Northern and Southern zones.
Mr Siaw said the Board and management of GLA would declare next year as the National Year of Reading, on the theme, “Reading for Progress” to revive the reading habits of the populace and sees the GNA as a key stakeholder to enable the GLA to achieve that target.
“I believe this collaboration with a key state agency like the GNA would enable us to reach out to more people during our national year of reading campaign.
“We cannot undertake a national exercise of that nature for a whole year without collaborating with the agency responsible for news gathering and dissemination in the country – the authentic voice – so we invited the GNA to collaborate with us in the exercise.”
He said there was the need for GNA to offer its platform as part of the National Year of Reading celebration, to educate the public about the importance of reading and libraries in the communities and how information and reading could change lives and a society.
“The idea is to get people to know that reading actually helps people to progress in life. Having educated people who can have access to information is critical to national development and we cannot under estimate that,” he added.
Mr Siaw also announced that the Authority would also revamp the Schools and College Library Department to support the development of education and reading in the country.
He said: “the government has seen that this department is a critical one that can support the development of education and reading in the country, hence the need to revamp the department.
“We are currently expanding our books processing unit to cater for the over 600 secondary schools and over 60 public libraries, as well as adding about 13 new libraries next year.
Mr Kweku Osei-Bonsu, the Acting General Manager of the GNA, on his part, said GNA as a state owned institution, places issues of national interest first, so the collaboration was in the right direction.
He said the GNA has its presence in all the 10 regional capitals and in some districts and assured the GLA of the Agency’s preparedness to collaborate with it and provide the necessary publicity to achieve a common goal.
Mr Osie-Bonsu said the GNA also has a library that needs to be digitised to meet modern standards and generate some revenue, and hoped that the collaboration would help achieve that since the GLA has the expertise in that area.