From Christabel Akoto-Manu, Bolgatanga
As part of activities to mark the 50th anniversary celebration of the Ghana Library Association (GLA), the Upper East branch of the association, last Thursday organised a lecture for some schools in the region, on the theme: “Libraries, The key to national development”.
Addressing the event the Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Mrs. Lucy Awuni, acknowledged the immense contributions of libraries, to the development of students, especially the “needy ones, whose parents are unable to buy them books”.
According to her, libraries all over the world, had served as centres of knowledge, from which people look for, and use books, maps, audio-visuals and videos, for their studies, research, and leisure.
“Since the inception of public libraries in the then Gold Coast in 1953, successive governments have strategically built libraries in communities, to serve the needs of pupils, students and the general public, and broaden their knowledge and horizons,” she stated.
Mrs. Awuni commended the GLA for providing supplementary knowledge and information, through its centres, as well as continued professional education for those who need it.
She was however, not happy with the non-availability of relevant books in most libraries countrywide, remarking, “It is a disturbing phenomenon which is impacting negatively on the work of public libraries”.
Mrs. Awuni called on the Ghana Library Authority and corporate organisations, to help to stock the libraries with modern books and educational materials, and internet services, where possible.
The Regional Coordinator of the GLA, Mrs. Joana Pwadura Adabere, urged the public, particularly students, to cultivate the habit of reading, so as to be abreast of current issues, as well as to broaden their horizons.
Mrs. Florence Dedzoer Dzokotoe Plockey, the guest speaker, stressed that the development of a country strongly depends on education, “with reading being the central pillar to education”.
She called on the government to provide libraries for schools, at all levels, to enable children to have access to contemporary knowledge.
She appealed to parents to help their children to inculcate the habit of reading and also buy them story books to read as supplementaries to their textbooks, and to build their vocabularies.
The chairman for the event, Mr. Kombat Fuzzy, appealed to the government to resource the library industry “because of its vital role, in the mental and physical development of the citizenry”.