University of Ghana opens $2m project within Balme Library

The University of Ghana on Thursday inaugurated a $2 million grant library project; the “Research Commons,”  sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to enhance academic output of students and researchers of the institution.

The Research Commons, which is located on the first floor of the east wing within the Balme Library, would allow researchers to have among other services, access to a state of the art technology, access to a number of Software in Science and Humanities, Microsoft Office Applications and Hardware facilities such as laptops, laser printing, digital projector and screen as well as scanners.

The facility also offers a comfortable workplace for contemplation, research, preparing and rehearsing presentations and discussions and a relaxed seating area, where a researcher could have a cup of tea or coffee.

The Library, in addition to the grant, was presented with additional seed money of 1.5 million dollars from its benefactors for the initial management of the facility.

Professor Ellis Badu, University Librarian, in an address said the University considers research as a critical part of its strategic plan to develop graduates with high level skills.

The Research Commons therefore attempts to assemble groups and expertise now distributed throughout the various campuses by blending technology with current traditional resources to serve as a centre for a wide range of scholarly activities.

Prof Badu said the attempt to solve a problem over and over again makes research complex and demanding at times, therefore a researcher requires a serene, comfortable and conducive environment “that would encourage him or her to enjoy what he or she is doing.”

He explained that the provision of a Research Commons, which is a shared place and environment for people, would also offer support in one central campus location to faculty and graduate students at any point in the complex research process.

Prof Clifford Nii Boye Tagoe, Immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University, who chaired the function, thanked the Carnegie Corporation of New York for their generosity and support to the University and towards enhancing quality education in Ghana.

He said it was gratifying that after several years of hard work a vision has finally come to reality, stressing that, being the first of its kind in the West African Sub-Region, the Research Commons offers students a better opportunity to develop their skills to the highest level.

According to Prof. Aaron Lawson, Provost College of Health Sciences, who represented the Vice-Chancellor, the University felt much indebted to both the US Government and the Carnegie Corporation for the huge support to the institution over the years.

He indicated that the Balme Library remains the nerve centre through which the University revolved, and commended all those who worked tirelessly to make the dream a reality.

Prof Lawson appealed for the judicious use of the facility with a high sense of maintenance culture to ensure its preservation for posterity.

Dr Tade Aina, Representative of Carnegie Corporation, announced that an additional $2.3 million grant has been approved by the Corporation for the University to commence the second phase of the project.

He explained that the Corporation has maintained its support to the University over the years and would do all within its power to help improve upon the standard of tertiary education in the country and in Africa at large.

Source: GNA

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