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Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development on Thursday said effective dissemination of information is an integral part of national development.
He said information is a crucial factor in national development and the ability to use information tools is a source of power in this 21’st Century and beyond.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo made this known when he addressed the 2012 Biennial Congress and Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Library Association (GLA).
The event, which coincided with the golden jubilee celebration of GLA, was on the theme: “Libraries: Key to National Development.”
The Minister said government recognises the need for information use and literacy as a means of national development.
He said libraries and librarians play key roles in information dissemination since they are experts in the careful acquisition, organisation, storage and dissemination of information.
He said government has not turned deaf ears on the request of GLA for the establishment of National Council on Library and Information , adding: “I urge you to do your home work well and provide the needed information for the government to take the necessary action and we will, on our part, lend you the needed support.”
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo attested to the fact that since independence public libraries have remained one of the most efficient means of acquiring, organising and making available, on democratic basis, information and educational needs of the reading public.
He explained that democracy demands that the masses, legislature, the media, the executive and every citizen to be well informed on important matters concerning national development.
Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said although through formal education, many are adequately informed, however schools cannot inform students without the support of libraries.
“It is therefore abundantly clear that the development of libraries and the engagement of qualified librarians are the key to successful implementation of all educational reforms,” he emphasised.
He said total education is a continuous process, which does not end in the classroom, and the backbone of this lifelong learning is well equipped libraries managed by qualified librarians.
The Minister congratulated the GLA on the golden jubilee celebration and urged the members to be more innovative and intensify their efforts at modernising delivery of libraries and information services.
He assured the GLA that government is prepared to offer the requisite assistance to them to help improve the different types of library services nationwide, which would enable them, play their much-needed roles to promote national development.
Mrs Valentine Bannerman, University Librarian, University of Education, Winneba, and President of the GLA expressed dissatisfaction about the non-existence of a national library.
She said a national library is the main library of any country where everything and anything to do with the country are kept and called for the passage of a bill to ensure the establishment of the facility.
Mrs Matilda Nana-Manye Amissah-Arthur, Second Lady and past President of GLA and the Chairperson of Golden Jubilee Planning Committee graced the occasion.