Professor Christine Kissiedu, Former Head of Library and Information Services Department of the University of Ghana on Thursday asked the country's universities and tertiary institutions to strengthen their capacity to enhance public access to online information in their libraries.
"The use of computer technology in libraries through networking, purchase and installation of software would enable libraries to become a service oriented information provider and not just custodian of books"
Professor Kissiedu was speaking at the launch of the University of Ghana Online Catalogue System (UGCat), an Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) developed by the Balme Library for the automation of the University of Ghana library system.
It was on the theme" Online Info at your door".
UGCat has features such as multiple means for searching the catalogue, ability to limit search to a specific library, provision of links to e-resources and off-campus access to e-resources and can be accessed on the World Wide Web at library.ug.edu.gh
She said the use of Information Technology (IT) was vital for developing the culture of sharing information in the modern age of technological advancement.
"It has become an uphill task for universities to automate their library operations but it is a worthwhile venture which is achievable through determination and hard work", she said.
Professor Kissiedu appealed to the university authorities to grant an independent status to the Balme Library and upgrade it to a faculty.
She commended the university administration for the support in making the OPAC dream a reality.
Professor Clifford Nii Boye Tagoe, Vice Chancellor of the University assured that the library and its satellite units would be provided with the needed assistance to promote efficiency in access to information.
He expressed his gratitude to Carnegie College of New York for funding the project at a cost of 2.2 million dollars.
Professor Harry Akussah, Head of Information Service Department of the University urged OPAC to work towards the linkage of more satellite libraries in its operations.
Professor Akussah called for a rigid monitoring, maintenance and sustenance of the OPAC system.
"You must continuously improve the response to user behaviour and redesign the interface to be able to hold on to users," he said.
Professor Anaba Anakankyela Alemna, the University Librarian said although the library initiated moves to automate its system in 1995, financial constraints hindered its progress until 2003 when the automation became successful.