Ghana has only 61 public libraries shared by 30 million people

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Deputy Minister in Charge of General Education glancing through a book at the Central Library in Accra with him is Mr Hayford Siaw,the Ag Chief Executive Officer of the GLA.
  • One infrastructure Ghana could boast of in the past was libraries in the country.
  • Today the country cannot boast of it since only 61 public libraries exist in the country.
  • Educationists have also complained about the falling standards of education and have called for students to develop the habit of reading.

Ghana has only 61 public libraries to serve an entire population of about 30 million.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Library Authority (GLA) Hayford Siaw, told Accra-based Citi FM that “In a population of almost 30 million people, we have only 61 footprints of libraries service to citizens.”

Mr Siaw added that even though some local government agencies and philanthropists construct libraries with their own funds the structures are not often fit for the purpose since do not consult the authority.

“A lot of district assemblies have been setting up libraries and corporate institution have been setting up libraries, but because of the non-engagement of Ghana Library Authority with these philanthropists and partners and district assemblies, we have seen that these libraries have collapsed,” he added.

He further said the one thing killing libraries in Ghana is the removal and discarding of old books without replacement.

“There are systematic issues. As of 1980, we had around one million books on our shelves but as at today, we have 500,000. We have been doing a lot of removals without necessarily replacing them and the numbers of books we receive don’t match the number being taken out,” he said.

Educationists have also complained about the falling standards of education despite technological advancements and have called for students to develop the habit of reading.

He said that the GLA would soon sign an agreement with Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) to install computers in all public libraries across the country.

He was of the view that it is necessary for the country to adapt to the technological age.

“Ghana Library Authority as part of its 5 years strategic plan has a technology strategy and the technology is in three prone areas. One is automation of our attitude, the other is having electronic reading corners within your library that is having a computer which has a lot of content that anyone, who is the member of the library can access. Hopefully next week we are signing a new partnership with Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) which is going to install computers across our entire library,” he said.

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