Building, maintaining public libraries: Task for all citizens
Public libraries serve as essential sources of knowledge and information, providing individuals from all walks of life access to educational materials, resources and programmes.
Despite their importance, public libraries often suffer from inadequate funding and neglect from government authorities.
This is where individuals with influence and resources can play a critical role in helping to build and sustain these vital institutions.
In Ghana, there is an urgent need for accessible public libraries.
According to a report by UNESCO, Ghana has a literacy rate of 76.6 per cent, which is below the global average.
This means that nearly a quarter of Ghanaians lack basic education and literacy skills. Additionally, the country faces a shortage of quality educational resources, which further hinders the growth and development of its citizens.
Recognising the critical role that public libraries can play in addressing these challenges, some Members of Parliament (MP) in government have taken bold steps towards spearheading a new revolution of library construction across the country.
This move is highly commendable, as it reflects the understanding that public libraries can serve as crucial agents for social and economic development.
Through this initiative, the MPs are leveraging their influence and resources to help build public libraries in various communities across the country.
They understand that building these institutions can have far-reaching benefits ranging from promoting education to supporting local community recreational activities.
The importance of public libraries cannot be overstressed.
They offer individuals access to educational materials, including books, journals and other resources necessary for self-improvement.
Furthermore, libraries provide a safe space for individuals to conduct research, hold meetings, and attend workshops or seminars that can better their lives and careers.
The need for accessible public libraries in Ghana, and indeed every country, cannot be overemphasized.
Through the actions of these MPs, we see the potential of influential individuals and political leaders to make a significant impact by investing in education, literacy, and economic development.
Therefore, we encourage all well-meaning Ghanaians, including business leaders, and philanthropists to rally around this cause and support the building and maintenance of public libraries across the country.
As an avid supporter of libraries and their importance in society, I am thrilled to take this opportunity to acknowledge and express my sincere gratitude towards the following members of parliament and individuals for their unwavering investment in libraries in their respective communities.
First, I would like to extend my gratitude to Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh for his tremendous support in developing libraries in Ghana.
His contributions have made a significant difference in enhancing access to information and education in the country.
The development of the Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II Public Library, is a legacy that generation will continue to appreciate.
I also want to thank Afenyo Markin for his consistent efforts in promoting the importance of libraries in his community.
His unwavering support has enabled people in his community to have better access to books and educational resources.
Francis Asenso Boakye also deserves recognition and appreciation for his effort in the establishment of libraries in his constituency.
His efforts in libraries are commendable.
Additionally, Kennedy Osei Nyarko's contribution towards the development of library in Akim Swedru has been exceptional.
His passion for education and the promotion of literacy has helped to improve access to books and study materials for students in his community.
Finally, I must acknowledge Ursula Owusu-Ekuful for her remarkable efforts in supporting the development of libraries in Ghana.
Her contributions have helped to create an environment whereby people have access to essential resources, which are necessary for their enlightening education and development.
She has personably been involved in inaugurating of three libraries in the last few years, the latest been the Christina Akua Brago Diawuo Library and Tech Hub, which she built in honour of her mother.
In addition to these individuals, I am also grateful to First and Second Ladies Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Samira Bawumia for their remarkable support and advocacy towards the development of libraries in Ghana.
It's heart-warming to see the support of these individuals translating to the development of many more libraries.
The establishment of these libraries will significantly impact society, with more people having access to information and broadening their knowledge.
In conclusion, I wish once again to extend my sincerest gratitude to all, and I hope that their efforts continue to inspire others to make a difference in society.
I trust that library development and investment will continue to be an agenda item even in subsequent administrations, as libraries remain a vital platform for education and personal development.
The writer is the CEO of Ghana Library Authority