In an era where technology dominates, many people – especially students –  have turned to mobile gadgets and computer screens to read books.

But when reading on a device, we all know how it goes. Along the way, we become tempted to check Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp notifications, just to name a few.

That is why the Ghana Library Authority (GhLA), in its bid to make 2019 the year of reading, has taken steps to establish school and community libraries to help increase healthy reading habits.

“The culture of Ghanaians not reading has been with us for long mainly because we do not have a proper school library system,” GhLA’s Chief Executive Officer, Hayford Siaw, told Joy News. 

He explained that in many countries, getting people to read started from schools. He stated he and his team are starting a school library transformation program to establish a school library department.

Image result for ghana kids reading

“GhLA wants to make Ghana a nation of readers,” Chief Executive Officer, Hayford Siaw said in an interview.

“The school libraries will give teachers the opportunity to recommend books for the children, then we build that culture (of reading). If we don’t build that culture in our schools, the culture will remain the same,” Mr. Siaw explained. 

He added that once the library is created in schools to help increase reading among students, the parents can set up libraries in their homes to supplement the efforts of the school in increasing the reading habits in children.

Mr. Siaw said the GhLA is taking steps to absorb some community libraries that have collapsed. 

“A lot of district assemblies and NGOs have set up libraries without consulting the GhLA, so they are managed by unprofessionals and volunteers. What happens is that after one or two years these libraries collapse.”

“This year, as part of the reading strategy, we have absorbed 15 of those and through the NSS and NABCO deploy some people to manage the library facilities.”

For the people who do not have time to enjoy the luxury of being in the library, the GhLA is not leaving you out. The authority is creating a mobile app that helps citizens register and borrow books online without going to the library.

He explained it will give people from all walks of life access to the knowledgeable materials they want. Patrons will be allowed to check out books for 10-15 days. 

Mr. Siaw explained that “people read on digital devices based on interest” thus the GhLA will provide books of different interest on the digital platforms for journalists, teachers, lawyers, bankers, and many others.”

“A reading nation is a leading nation and most countries that have advanced in this world has promoted literacy as a core requirement and the GhLA wants to make Ghana a nation of readers,” he concluded. 



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