The Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) has been voted the ‘Library of the Year’ by the London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards 2021.

The Authority competed against the Kenya National Library Services (Kenya) and Public Library “Fran Galovic” Koprivnica (Croatia) in the final shortlist.

A statement issued in Accra by the Authority said it was awarded for its outstanding commitment to using technology to support remote learning to promoting information skills, literacy and reading.

It said in announcing the winners, judges wrote, “It really struck us as an amazing story of transformation and an example of how library services tackle some of the most pressing issues confronting their users.”

They said from using technology to support remote learning to promoting information skills, literacy and reading, this was a great example of the difference a quality library can make.

Mr. Hayford Siaw, Executive Director of the Authority, thanked LBF for the recognition and also to the government for the renewed commitment to public library service delivery in Ghana.

Mr Siaw acknowledged the staff of the GhLA for their commitment and dedication in connecting Ghanaians to knowledge resources.

“For us at the Ghana Library Authority, this recognition underscores the impact we have made in the last few years in transforming public library service to be responsive to the life-long learning needs of our citizens,” he added.

He said from working with Commonwealth of Learning to support over 30,000 Ghanaians enroll on its Read2skill programme, supporting Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service with a Learning Management System for Basic education and enhancing Digital Library with video tutorials, supported by UNICEF to deploy mobile library vans to transport books to homes of young people in the era of COVID-19, was a mark of innovation and relentlessness on the part of the staff of GhLA to support the Ghanaian life- long learner.

The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards is organized by the London Book Fair in partnership with the Publishers Association (United Kingdom) to celebrate publishing achievement across seven categories.

It recognizes organizations and individuals demonstrating notable originality, creativity, and innovation within the industry.

Other recipients are Findaway Voices (USA) – The Audiobook Publisher of the Year award, Carturesti (Romania) – The Bookstore of the Year award and Karadi Path Education Company (India) – The Educational Learning Resources Award.

The rest are Editora Trinta Zero Nove (Mozambique) – The Literary Translation Initiative Award, Nora Mercurio, Suhrkamp Verlag (Germany) – The Rights Professional Award and Hachette UK – Inclusivity in Publishing Award, supported by the Publishers Association.

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The Ghana news Agency (GNA) was established on March 5, 1957, i.e. on the eve of Ghana's independence and charged with the "dissemination of truthful unbiased news". It was the first news agency to be established in Sub-Saharan Africa. GNA was part of a comprehensive communication policy that sought to harness the information arm of the state to build a viable, united and cohesive nation-state. GNA has therefore been operating in the unique role of mobilizing the citizens for nation building, economic and social development, national unity and integration.

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