Ghana: Let's Not Abandon U.S.$4 Million Children's Library Project

15 January 2020

Libraries as we know are storage spaces for books and serve as centres of learning as well as acquisition of knowledge and professional development.

In the recent past, libraries especially public ones are places that are patronised by young people in search of knowledge in many parts of the country.

Unfortunately and for some strange reasons, young people are less enthusiastic about libraries and adults appear disinterested in encouraging them to patronise public libraries.

No wonder, young people are not reading and as a nation, we are losing our reading culture.

But in other parts of the world, libraries continue to be important places for learning and other social activities. That is why those countries invest heavily in public libraries to provide a convenient environment and encourage the people to read and acquire knowledge.

It is against this backdrop that the Ghanaian Times is unhappy that a $4m dollar two-storey children's library, funded by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has been abandoned after completion three years ago.

According to a report published on Tuesday, the project which was initiated as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of SSNIT and situated at the Airport Residential area, remained unfurnished and wasting away.

The Child Rights International (CRI) is equallyunhappy aboutthe state of the library and organised a press conference to bring the situation to public attention.

The Executive Director of CRI, Bright Kweku Appiah said the Ghana Library Authority (GLA) and SSNIT entered into an agreement to construct the building, furnish and stock it with books and modern equipments while the GLA would provide the site for construction and recruitment of staff upon completion of the project.

"The project which was completed three years ago has a mobile library, conference halls, and recreational area with astro turf, first aid room, state-of-the-art disability toilet facilities, a computer room, offices and a waiting area.

"With the building virtually abandoned, it is beginning to deteriorate. This is blatant waste of both state and citizens resources which is highly unacceptable," adding that the liability period agreed between stakeholders and contractor had expired," he said

We are not sure why the facility remains unutilised but we share in the sentiments expressed by Mr Appiah and urge the GLA and SSNIT to resolve any outstanding issues so that the facility can be put to use.

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