The people of Mandari community in the Savannah Region have commissioned a self-help library project to provide both students and community members’ unlimited access to a variety of reading resources to enhance their knowledge.
The library structure, which was put up with contributions from community members and with the help of the Ghana Library Authority (GhLA), is stocked with the necessary books and other library resources to enable it to function to the benefit of the people.
Mr Moses Gbolo Mumuni, a Representative of the Community during the commissioning, noted that education was key to development and that the people of Mandari wanted to prioritize education among other things, hence the initiation of the project to push the vision forward.
He disclosed that many of them in the community completed Secondary Schools without access to their own text books that could have enabled them to compete with other privileged students elsewhere in examinations; a situation they do not want other children in the community to experience.
“On behalf of the people of Mandari, I thank all those who donated resources; cash, materials, talents, wisdom, and knowledge towards this library project when we appealed for funds during the “Seidubile Festival” (Yam Festival)”, he said.
He was particularly grateful to the Member of Parliament for Bole Constituency, Alhaji Sulemana Issifu, for the thousands of Ghana cedis donated among other resources and Madam Fati Bodua Seidu, a member of the community who used her contact with the GhLA to get them to come and stock the library with books and computers.
Mr Aaron Kuwornu, the Savannah and North-East Regional Director of the GhLA, noted that libraries were important to national development as they inform, educate, recreate and promote the cultural activities of the communities they serve.
He said the library is often the only readily available source of comprehensive information needed by people for personal, family and job-related purposes, adding that the country’s economy benefited when business people use library resources to make wise business decisions, employees use it to improve job skills, or the disadvantaged use it to help break the cycle of poverty.
Mr Kuwornu said the GhLA as an institution had over the past three years embarked on series of interventions to be able to connect Ghanaians to knowledge resources.
He said in 2018, they had a total number of 61 libraries across the country which have been increased to 105 as part of their strategic initiative on increasing accessibility to the library network.
He said the GhLA declared 2021 as the year of literacy, where they seek to eliminate learning poverty by connecting Ghanaians to knowledge resources.
He said COVID-19 influenced the GhLA decision to digitize library operations in the country, hence the introduction of the GhLA digital app, which was the first library app to be developed by a public library in West Africa, currently had been uploaded with 4,056 eBooks, 13,620 audio, 1, 024, 983 hard copy books and 1,000 videos.
Mr Kuwornu disclosed that the GhLA worked with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service to introduce a learning management system called “Edmodo” in the country
He said the GhLA was in collaboration with UNICEF to help Early Grade Schools to acquire reading skills to support them in their learning activities and workshops, adding that other workshops were also organized for the teachers to equip them with reading skills to support the Early Grade Schools.
He said whereas Readers Clubs were formed in most schools to arouse the reading interest of the children, the GhLA also supported deprived schools and communities with Library Services and teaching of ICT.
Madam Fati Bodua Seidu, a Member of the Community said the library project was the second one the community undertook after the construction of a dam for irrigation.