The Ghana Library Authority (GLA) is to add 100,000 new books annually to increase its stock of books in all its 61 public libraries throughout the country.
According to the Ag Chief Executive Officer of the GLA, Mr Hayford Siaw, additionally, 15 more libraries previously managed by private individuals and institutions had been absorbed and would be stocked to acceptable levels, adding that the number of footprints that the authority had would be increased significantly.
Briefing the Daily Graphic on what the management of the authority was doing to commemorate the year 2019, which it was declared the ‘Year of Reading’, Mr Siaw said all libraries throughout the country were being revamped and that plans were in place to restock the libraries with new and relevant books.
On the state of the regional and district libraries throughout the country, he expressed gratitude to some of the district assemblies that were helping in the construction and running of libraries within the assemblies, as well as some corporate institutions that were investing in libraries within their operational areas.
Mr Siaw said the regional libraries were being resourced, explaining that when he joined the authority, all internally generated funds (IGF) were forwarded to the headquarters, “but when we came into office, I issued a directive that 80 per cent of such funds at the regional level should be retained for them to be able to support local operations.
“For the past five or so years, no imprest was sent to the regions but as I speak to you, from now, some amount of imprest is sent reguarly.
This year, the first imprest has been sent to the regions to be able to support the payment of electricity and water bills, as well as the daily running of their libraries,” he told the Daily Graphic.
Mr Siaw also made reference to an information that the GLA branch in the Volta Region was facing eviction from the EP Church and said, it was not true that the EP Church was evicting the regional library within its premises.
“As of today, EP Church has not served us any notice. There is no documentary evidence to that fact.
Honestly we don’t have any notice of eviction,” Mr Siaw explained to the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra after the Deputy Minister in charge of General Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, visited the central library of the GLA to inspect progress of work being initiated by the management of the authority towards revamping libraries in the country.
He said, The GLA’s Volta regional branch in Ho was still located within the EP Basic School.
Mr Siaw, however, admitted that work on the structure to house the branch of the authority was unduly delaying, pointing out that management was aware that the location of its branch might not have been the ideal place, but gave an assurance that the permanent structure would be completed and it would be moved out of its current location.
Since 2003, the Volta Regional Coordinating Council on behalf of the GLA entered into an agreement with the EP Church to operate the regional branch of the GLA within the EP Church Basic School in Ho, while a permanent structure was constructed.
Currently, the building to house the regional library is about 85 per cent complete and it is anticipated that the contractor will be moving in to fix the 15 per cent work remaining.
He explained that even if there was any truth about the eviction, it would be served on the Regional Coordinating Council and not the authority directly “because it was the council that entered into the arrangement with the church”.