The Second Lady, Mrs Matilda Nana Manye Amissah-Arthur, has called for the adoption of a radical approach to the “management of knowledge” and a re-thinking of librarianship to keep the profession going.
She said the advent of the Internet, access to information, the knowledge economy and knowledge facilitation had gained a new meaning altogether, and librarians had to take another look at the way the library managed knowledge.
“Some libraries have started re-thinking and indeed regrouping. This is the way to go,” Mrs Amissah-Arthur said on Thursday as she spoke as Special Guest of Honour at the seventh inaugural presidential address of the Ghana Library Association (GLA) in Accra.
The lecture on the theme: ”Information for Public Libraries”, was delivered by Mrs Perpetua Sekyiwa Dadzie.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur, a professional librarian herself, and former President of the Association, recalled that the association last year “told the library story and created some awareness in library use and helped revived the reading culture in the country.”
She maintained that the library would continue to be a repository of knowledge, but librarians had to take another look at its way of managing knowledge.
The Wife of the Vice President urged librarians not to rest on their oars, but move on and publicize their activities to attract the needed patronage and funding.
The lecture itself, which focused on information literacy, suggested that with the rapid changing environment, where information is abundant in a variety of media and the quality of information uncertain, one needed more than reading and writing skills and competencies to survive in today’s technological world.
Mrs Dadzie said today’s world required individuals to be information literate, possessing the skills and abilities to locate, evaluate, use and communicate information in an ethical manner in order to participate in societal affairs and to have an informed opinion about problems occurring locally, nationally or internationally.
“Information literacy forms the basis of life-long learning, which encompasses all forms of learning through formal, non-formal and informal settings,” Mrs Dadzie said.
The lecture addressed the importance of information literacy and life-long learning in today’s world and established the need for public libraries to rethink and renew their roles in the rapidly changing society.
Mrs Dadzie profiled some of the challenges of the Ghana Library Authority as inadequate release of funds, high turnover due to working conditions, lack of IT infrastructure and delay in the implementation of interventions.
She suggested the creation of staff awareness about information literacy, staff development, development of information literacy programmes, creation of partnerships, library week celebration and fund-raising to make the operations of public libraries more efficient.
Prof Kweku Osam, Pro Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana chaired the lecture.