The Ghana Library Authority, the institution mandated by law to establish, equip, maintain and manage public libraries in Ghana, has emerged as the ‘Library of the Year’ at the London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards 2021. It competed against the Kenya National Library Services (Kenya) and Public Library “Fran Galovic” Koprivnica (Croatia) in the final shortlist.
The Authority was awarded for its outstanding commitment to using technology to support remote learning to promoting information skills, literacy and reading.
In a press release announcing the winners, the judges of the London Book Fair International Excellence award wrote, “It really struck us as an amazing story of transformation and an example of how library services tackle some of the most pressing issues confronting their users.
“From using technology to support remote learning to promoting information skills, literacy and reading, this is a great example of the difference a quality library can make.”
The Executive Director of the Ghana Library Authority, Mr. Hayford Siaw, in response, expressed gratitude to the LBF for the recognition and also to the government of Ghana led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the renewed commitment to public library service delivery in Ghana.
Mr Siaw also acknowledged the staff of the GhLA for their commitment and dedication in connecting Ghanaians to knowledge resources.
He further stated that “For us at the Ghana Library Authority, this recognition underscores the impact we have made in the last few years in transforming public library service to be responsive to the life-long learning needs of our citizens.”
“From working with Commonwealth of Learning to support over 30,000 Ghanaians enroll in its Read2skill programme, supporting the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service with a Learning Management System for Basic education and enhancing our Digital Library with video tutorials, supported by UNICEF to deploy mobile library vans to transport books to homes of young people in the era of COVID-19, it is a mark of innovation and relentlessness on the part of the staff of GhLA to support the Ghanaian life- long learner”.
The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards is organized by the London Book Fair in partnership with the Publishers Association (United Kingdom) to celebrate publishing achievements across seven categories.
It recognizes organizations and individuals demonstrating notable originality, creativity, and innovation within the industry.
The six (6) additional recipients of the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2021 include;
- Findaway Voices (USA) – The Audiobook Publisher of the Year award
- Carturesti (Romania) – The Bookstore of the Year award
- Karadi Path Education Company (India) – The Educational Learning Resources Award
- EditoraTrinta Zero Nove (Mozambique) – The Literary Translation Initiative Award
- Nora Mercurio, SuhrkampVerlag (Germany) – The Rights Professional Award
- Hachette UK – Inclusivity in Publishing Award, supported by the Publishers Association
The panel of judges in their remark stated that they were amazed about the story of the transformation of library services.
“[It] really struck us as an amazing story of transformation and an example of how library services can tackle some of the most pressing social issues confronting their users. From using technology to support remote learning to promoting information skills, literacy and reading, this is a great example of the difference a quality library can make,” they stated.