GHANA LIBRARY AUTHORITY 2000 TO 2010
There is no gain saying the fact that the more knowledgeable an individual is the more productive he/she is. Again, the more knowledgeable individuals an organization or society has the speedier its advancement which could also lead to its greatness. Indeed, there is always a positive correlation between highly knowledgeable (educated) societies and greatness. No wonder the rich and powerful countries in the world today are those with high levels of knowledge and education while those with lower levels of education are the poorest and weakest.
The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a grouping of rich European countries, emphasized in a policy document put together in Paris in 1994, the fact that the economies of the OECD are increasingly based on knowledge and information”. The document further asserted how knowledge is now recognized as the driver of productivity and economic growth.
Recognizing the values of knowledge and information, individuals, organizations and nations have, in various ways and over the centuries, taken various steps to create and expand facilities for information collection and storage: all in a bid to expand the frontiers of knowledge. Funds for this purpose are found in annual national budgets of countries while organizations worth their sorts also make yearly provisions for the facilitation of knowledge enhancement. It has been said that human kind is now in the knowledge or information age; having migrated from stages like pre-historic, agrarian, industrial and service ages. Information is therefore key to the survival and advancement of individuals, organizations and nations today. The explosion of information gathering, storage and dissemination gadgets like computers, laptops, Ipads, blackberries, etc., is a testimony to the need and realization for quick and easy access to information. Quick and easy access to information is vital to the development of various fields of knowledge. In order to perform or achieve set targets, essential and relevant information need to be made available to professionals, researchers, and policy makers etc. who have urgent need for them. This is where the library comes in. A library in the strict sense of the term is a collection of materials organized for use. It is also a place or a room set apart for the keeping and use of documents which have been organized. It keeps books, journals, periodicals, magazines, etc. for the use of the community, be it a school, a college, a university, a corporate body or a neighborhood. A library can therefore be said to be a storehouse of knowledge. A well stocked library is an asset to the school, college, university or the society. Apart from the primary function of helping in the expansion of the frontiers of knowledge, libraries help to develop reading habits. They mould character and help in personal development. An ordinary man may find it difficult to purchase a book or subscribe to a magazine. The library helps them. It offers them a variety of books under one roof at nominal fee or many a time for free. One can even borrow a book(s) for use. Notwithstanding these benefits of the libraries, public libraries in particular have borne the brunt of the effects of global recession since the 1980s. State and local authorities’ allocations of resources to the libraries have seen consistent decline in almost every jurisdiction and Ghana is no exception. Among the earliest writers on this have been Colin Harris and Brian Clifford, who in an introduction to their work titled “Public Libraries-re-appraisal and re-structuring” published in 1985, wrote “Without doubt the two most important influences upon the recent development of the library services have been … and the severe financial restraints resulting from the current economic recession”. Paucity of resource allocations to public libraries have resulted...