The newly inaugurated ‘National Children and Mobile Library’ has been stocked with about 23,500 books, on different age group classifications to aid early child development and reading skills in children.
Described by the Ghana Library Authority as a model facility, the library which is situated at the Airport residential area is fully equipped with 22,000 books and 24 tablets together with free WiFi while its auxiliary mobile library is also stocked with about 1500 books and 20 laptops for children in remote areas who may not be able to access the National Children Library at its present location.
The all-rounded facility was also designed with a training centre and conference rooms for the training of librarians for schools. It also has assistive devices for persons with sight and hearing challenges.
In addition, it has a commercial section where parents can buy stationery and gift cards and other literature materials for their wards as well as a first aid post for the safety of children.
Executive Director, Ghana Library Authority (GhLA), Hayford Siaw, mentioned that the edifice has an early childhood sector for children between the ages of two to five years, another for ages six to 12 years, a teen section for 13 to 19 years, an ICT centre, indoor playground, office space, and a parent waiting room.
“The government has helped increase the number of public libraries from 61 in 2017 to 115 at the end of 2022. 48 out of the 61 libraries inherited in 2017 have received a facelift, creating a conducive environment for learners.
“Government has also increased the number of books on the shelves of public libraries from 393,430 in 2016 to 1,281,839 at the end of 2022, a 325 percent increase in six years,” he said.
With the belief that the ability of children to read and write by the age of ten is important to closing Ghana’s current learning poverty gap, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives committed to building the children library for the state.
Minister of Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, assured that his ministry and the library authority will collaborate to provide transportation for students across the capital city to get access to the library in a bid to aid them to develop a reading culture.
He added that the National Children’s Library happens to be the 54th public library built from 2017 till now in Ghana and the 13th public library in the Greater Accra Region.
Commending SSNIT for the kind gesture he said: “I believe initiatives like this if emulated by other corporate entities will help in ensuring that the majority of our children have access to books in their communities”.