Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) in collaboration with Book Aid International has highlighted the country’s progress in public and school library development as it marked International Literacy Day in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.

This year’s celebration is under the theme, “Literacy and multilingualism”.

Observed on September 8, every year since October 1996, it offers an opportunity for players in the literacy space to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.

Speaking at the event to commemorate the day, the Acting Executive Director of the Authority, Hayford Siaw, shared the progress GhLA has made in their 2019 Year of Reading. 

“We have brought back our Mobile Van Services to send supplementary readers to various districts, renovated over 15 libraries and organized various reading engagement programmes to promote reading. 

“Through these interventions, GhLA has recorded almost one million patronages across the country as at August 2019, which is more than 30% of the total figure recorded in 2018”.

He added that over 120,000 books have been added to their stock with new access points created, to make the public engage with their libraries.

Hayford Siaw  - Ghana Library Board
Acting Executive Director of the Authority, Hayford Siaw

Mr Siaw noted the world is now multilingual and there is the need to learn other languages.

This, he explained led to the establishment of a French Corner in the Eastern Regional Library, which is a duplicate of what was started in Accra Central library.

The Acting Executive Director encouraged parents to bring their wards to be a part of the French lessons delivered at the libraries.

Commenting on the Digital agenda of Ghana Library Authority, he noted that “GhLA has fulfilled an objective of creating a digital library app that allows users to download electronic books on your phone.

“In just a few weeks, we have recorded over 8,000 active users with one download every two minutes.”

On her part, the Chief Executive of Book Aid International, Allison Tweed, advised parents on three ways to improve literacy in children.

She said, “By reading with your child, by listening to your child read and by taking your children to the library or having books at home” parents will help boost their children’s reading habit. 

Allison Tweed said Book Aid is proud to support the library to offer knowledge and pleasure through reading in the community.

The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Samuel Nuertey Ayertey, shared his concerns about multilingualism and urged the audience to promote literacy and multilingualism.

Vodafone Ghana used the occasion to unveil its support to Ghana Library’s technology strategy through the commissioning of technology and Innovation hub at the Eastern RegionalLibrary.

Vodafone Ghana supported the GhLA hub with 10 desktop computers, digital scanners and UPS, as part of Vodafone’s Digital Revolution project.