He said the issue of literacy is very important and urged government to take it seriously in the national agenda.
Mr Kedem made the call at a stakeholder’s workshop in Accra on literacy, reading and numeracy on the theme: “The UN agenda for sustainable development-the role of literacy and reading in national development.”
It was aimed at helping stakeholders deliberate on the way forward to curb the situation.
Mr Kedem said with the current technological advancement, people argue that the internet has come to replace the public library because all information could be obtained from there.
“This betrays their lack of understanding of the vision and mission of the public library.
“Public libraries are the memory of the nation, which has been established to promote reading, learning, the culture and love for reading,” he explained.
Mr Kedem noted that public libraries are extremely important to national and personal development hence the need for the celebration.
He therefore urged government to find it appropriate to continue to establish and fund public libraries in order to promote independent learning, reading and lifelong learning.
“The youth of today are visualists, they like what they see than reading and this is drawing the country back,” he said.
Mr Kedem said acquiring knowledge is very important since it puts information into people’s head for better understanding.
He said the love for reading is not inherited but rather inculcated and acquired and urged the public and school libraries to inculcate the habit into children during their early stages.
Mr Kedem said the solution to the problems of illiteracy and free access to information for all by 2030 is no longer the problem of one nation since the UN has made it a trans-national problem and has therefore prescribed a trans-national solution to it.
He said that State institutions and civil society organisations must however form a strong coalition to confront the issue of illiteracy.
He advised people to devote a little time each day to read something because what one watches passes away but what they read sticks on their mind.
Mr Elliot Agyare, President Ghana Book Publishers Association and Chief Executive Officer of Smartline Publications said Ghana must put greater emphasis on the eradication of illiteracy rather than building roads and hospitals among others.
He said attaining literacy should be at the core of the development of the country because every country now is competing based on the strength of its human resource.
“This is because with a literate citizenry certain things will fall in place,” he said.
He therefore urged the committee of representatives during the celebration of the World Book Day to ensure that every citizen in the country know the importance of books and literacy from the lay man to the literate.
He also added that the coalition should organise a national conference on reading on literacy and numeracy so that everybody would know the importance of learning and reading.
By Samira Larbie, GNA