The Ghana Library Authority, the institution mandated by law to establish, equip, maintain and manage public libraries in Ghana, has emerged as the ‘Library of the Year’ by the London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards 2021.

It competed against the Kenya National Library Services (Kenya) and Public Library “Fran Galovic” Koprivnica (Croatia) in the final shortlist.

The Authority was awarded for its outstanding commitment to using technology to support remote learning to promoting information skills, literacy and reading.

In a press release announcing the winners, the judges of the London Book Fair International Excellence award wrote, “It really struck us as an amazing story of transformation and an example of how library services tackle some of the most pressing issues confronting their users.

“From using technology to support remote learning to promoting information skills, literacy and reading, this is a great example of the difference a quality library can make.”

The Executive Director of the Ghana Library Authority, Hayford Siaw, in response expressed gratitude to the LBF for the recognition and also to the government of Ghana led by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the renewed commitment to public library service delivery in Ghana.

Mr Siaw also acknowledged the staff of the GhLA for their commitment and dedication in connecting Ghanaians to knowledge resources.

He further stated “For us at the Ghana Library Authority, this recognition underscores the impact we have made in the last few years in transforming public library service to be responsive to the life-long learning needs of our citizens.

“From working with Commonwealth of Learning to support over 30,000 Ghanaians enrol in its Read2skill programme, supporting Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service with a Learning Management System for Basic education and enhancing our Digital Library with video tutorials, supported by UNICEF to deploy mobile library vans to transport books to homes of young people in the era of COVID-19, is a mark of innovation and relentlessness on the part of the staff of GhLA to support the Ghanaian life- long learner”.

The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards is organized by the London Book Fair in partnership with the Publishers Association (United Kingdom) to celebrate publishing achievement across seven categories. It recognizes organizations and individuals demonstrating notable originality, creativity, and innovation within the industry.

The six additional recipients of the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2021 include;

Findaway Voices (USA) – The Audiobook Publisher of the Year award

Carturesti (Romania) – The Bookstore of the Year award

Karadi Path Education Company (India) – The Educational Learning Resources Award

Editora Trinta Zero Nove (Mozambique) – The Literary Translation Initiative Award

Nora Mercurio, Suhrkamp Verlag (Germany) – The Rights Professional Award

Hachette UK – Inclusivity in Publishing Award, supported by the Publishers Association