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General News of Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Source: GNA

Library Board no longer dependant on donations

Accra, May 29, GNA - Papa Owusu- Ankomah, Minister of Education, Science and Sports on Tuesday said Government had increased funding to the Ghana Library Board (GLB) to reduce the dependence on donated books. He said about one billion cedis was allocated to books this year, whilst in 2005 the Ministry sourced for about three billion cedis from the GETFUND to purchase books to replenish the old book stocks. Speaking at a Meet-The -Press Session in Accra, Papa Owusu-Ankomah said the government had also acquired 10 Mercedes Benz vans for the GLB to resuscitate the popular mobile library service that was provided some years ago, to bring the service to the doorstep of people in the rural areas

"It is intended to promote and support the various educational reforms and programme and help alleviate poverty through the provision of information," he said.

Papa Owusu- Ankomah said since the inception of the GLB, libraries had been established in all the 10 regional capitals with 51 others in the districts.

He said in addition, new libraries were under construction in Ho and Sunyani whilst the Greater Accra Regional Library had been computerized and networked to enable users have access to Internet and enhance inter-office communication.

"Computers have been installed to establish a cyber caf=E9 at the Accra Central Library," he added.

Papa Owusu- Ankomah said rehabilitation works were ongoing in the Greater Accra Regional Library, the Padmore Research Library, Ashanti Regional Library, Kumasi, Western Regional Library, Sekondi, Northern Regional Library, Tamale and the Upper East Regional Library, Tamale. He said the GLB had introduced a National Youth Essay Competition, with the core objective to improve the reading and writing proficiency of the youth and to help them acquire problem-solving skills. He said the Ministry had taken steps to revive the book industry and a national directory of the book industry was under compilation for publication in the later part of the year.

"The National Book Award which will be an annual event will be held in November 2007 under the auspices of the Ghana International Book Fair Trust in collaboration with the Ghana Book Development Council and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports".