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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4173

Title: Information: The Oil in the Wheel of National Development
Authors: Asamoah-Hassan, Helena R.
Issue Date: 11-Mar-2003
Abstract: Libraries play a major role in the educational system, the development of a strong human resource base and the socio-economic and political progress of every country. Libraries also satisfy the recreational needs of a nation’s citizenry. To turn out sound products at every level of education, there is the need for the teacher and the ‘taught’ to have access to resources to enhance their goals. One of the main resources is the library. Again, the underlying factor of any nation’s development is instructive knowledge in all facets of life. If knowledge is un-harnessed it is no knowledge. It is the library which collects, organises, preserves and makes such knowledge available as and when needed. The library is also a means where people can fall on to improve their status in life, with little formal classroom education. Libraries can therefore be seen as the oil in the wheel of national development. A nation which does not take care of its historical information to serve as pieces of bricks to build upon its current information to be used for planning and on-going development, and does not lay effective plans for the harnessing of future information, by putting structures in place to maintain and sustain the means for this aim, in this case libraries, is already destroying its future before it gets there. Andrew Carnegie, whom many libraries have been benefiting from his Foundation once said that “I believe that a library outranks any other one thing that a community can do to help its people. It is the never failing spring in the desert”. Again, in 1998, Vartan Gregorian, the President of the Carnegie Corporation said in his essay on Libraries and Andrew Carnegie’s Challenge that “Libraries contain the heritage of humanity; the record of its triumphs and failures, its intellectual, scientific and artistic achievements and its collective memory. It would be a true tragedy if that record did not serve and include African countries at the highest level possible”. The presence of Carnegie Foundation in our country and universities now, buttresses this statement but one wonders if we will really seize the opportunity and escape the tragedy Vartan talks of. In Ghana, all the types of libraries — academic, special, public, school, college - abound but to what extent they are contributing to national development is the question.
Description: Inaugural Lecture of the President Elect of the Ghana Library Association held on Tuesday 11th March, 2003 at the GNAT Hall, Accra
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/4173
Appears in Collections:Library

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