"When the office of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) got burnt, the library provided GBC copies of popular movies such as 'I Told You So" and others. The library has to receive a copy of every information", Mr Philip Asamoah, the then Librarian of Obuasi Municipal Library told me one day. I was not surprised when such a proactive Librarian was later promoted as the Regional Librarian for the Upper West Region.
It's a good step that the Right To Information (RTI) Bill after two decades of drafting and review was finally passed by the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana in March 2019 although various publications and discussions recommend that some clauses need review.
Information refers to knowledge, facts, processed data or intelligence obtained about someone or something through study, investigation or instructions. Every Library is a hub of information but Ghanaian Libraries are popularly known for promoting literacy (reading and writing).
RTI and Ghana Library Authority:
With reference to Clause 3 of the RTI Bill on the type of information that can be accessed, the new Ghana Library Authority (GLA) online system initiated by the creative CEO of Ghana Library Authority, Mr. Hayford Siaw, the Library can serve as a hub of information by receiving information from all agencies including the Ministry of Information and providing access online for all. This means the Library needs a huge cloud-based online system for storing such huge data. This would increase the patronage of Ghanaian Libraries.
Other Capabilities of Ghanaian Libraries:
Land management is the foundation of the development of every country. Land ownership disputes arise in Ghana as results of inadequate access to information on the official landowners and other land details. The Lands Commission and other agencies of land management could incorporate the GLA online system to provide access to information on official landowners and details to prevent the thousands of land litigation cases nationwide.
As the hub of information, every Ghanaian library should have a Research Department to investigate and provide findings for national development.
Ghanaian Libraries should have big separate halls that can be used to host educational programmes for all such as Startup Competitions, Computer training and more.
The Library could aid in normal school classes to reduce overpopulated urban government schools and rural schools under trees.
The potential of the Library may be underestimated but the Library by its name should be a hub of information, knowledge and development.
By Janix Asare.
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."