Mrs Matilda Nana Manye Amissah-Arthur, wife of Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, on Tuesday called on librarians to introduce innovative services into the public library system, to attract more patrons.
She was optimistic that the printed library would survive the advent of electronic library, and asked practitioners in the industry to collaborate with stakeholders to attract more resources to improve service delivery.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur, who is a professional librarian, gave the advice at a two-day follow-up workshop on advocacy and grant proposal writing, for staff of the Ghana Library Authority, in Accra.
The event sought to train participants in report writing, advocacy, library innovative activities, and media relations.
A similar programme was organised in September last year, with the view to replicate it nationwide so that libraries could be used as a tool to accelerate national development.
The workshop is expected to assist participants to solicit funds and other resources and to advocate the importance of public libraries to policy makers and the public.
This stems from research findings from the Electronic Information for Libraries, inaugurated by the Global Libraries of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The study recorded low public perception about libraries in Ghana, which was chosen among six African nations for study.
Following the report, a workshop was organized at which the Ghana Public Libraries Awareness (GPLARG) committee was formed under the auspices of the Ghana Library Association, to raise awareness on the role of public library services in national development.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur stressed the need for proposal writing and soliciting for funding for public libraries.
She said Ghana had advantage over other areas because there was more room for improvement in the public library sector.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur said: “We want innovations in the public library system,” and that proposals could be based on technical as well as simple issues.
She mentioned e-learning, use of mobile libraries and training for library staff, to assist patrons in research methods among others.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur stressed on the need for justification of proposals to attract the necessary interventions.
Dr Helena Asamoah-Hassan, Chairperson on GPLARG, called for a hybrid of the electronic and printed library.