A new concept in public libraries in Ghana, e-Ananse Libraries, which is the initiative of WestBlue Consulting, a world-class business and IT-consulting and technology firm, has opened a branch at the University of Ghana-Legon.
This makes it two as the first library was opened at Osu in Accra.
The company, through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, built the two public libraries.
The initiative forms part of efforts to revitalise reading among students and adults.
The libraries are the realisation of a long-held dream of West Blue’s founder, Ms Valentina Mintah, to provide Ghanaians with culturally-relevant resources that celebrate African heritage, in line with her mantra, “Think Global; Know Local.”
Over 60 per cent of the books in the libraries are meant for adults while 40 per cent are for kids. Also, 80 per cent of the books in the e-Ananse Libraries are written by renowned African writers while the 20 per cent are written by non-African writers.
Ms Valentina Mintah, the founder of WestBlue Consulting, in a speech read for her by Mr Michael Addo, the CEO of WestBlue Consulting, said the e-Ananse Libraries project was a concept developed to encourage reading among kids and adults.
The project, which is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, is to support the building of two public libraries for children and adults at the University of Ghana, Legon and Osu, a suburb of Accra.
She said the Sudanese proverb, “we desire to bequeath two things to our children: the first one is roots; the other one is wings”, is the embodiment of the e-Ananse project – firmly rooted in Ghanaian and African culture yet giving our people the wings to fly and soar in the world.
“In today’s fast-changing world, where the pressure to keep up with what is new and modern is intense, the wisdom of our elders is fundamental to ensuring we don’t lose our sense of identity and purpose,” she said.
Ms Mintah said “knowledge of our history equals pride in who we are as a people in our strength and our ingenuity, in our resourcefulness and our creativity and means we can face the world with confidence about our value to it.”
She said the e-Ananse Libraries bring together many organisations from Ghana and around the world whose values and missions are aligned with their own of preserving local culture while embracing the best of what the world has to offer in terms of knowledge and skills.
Ms Mintah said this in itself was a very African principle, and they were committed to ensuring that, through the establishment of the e-Ananse Libraries, “we stay true to our values by giving our children both the roots and the wings to succeed.”
She said the company prides itself in its commitment to being a pace-setting, innovating and world-class organisation, and it was this same mindset that they bring to the e-Ananse Libraries as part of their CSR.
Ms Mintah said the libraries house contemporary and classic books, predominantly by writers of African descent, that reflect the country’s pride in its African heritage and they each have an iHub with state-of-the-art computing facilities to equip Ghanaians through the Ghana-Oracle Digital Enterprise Programme with the skills to compete in today’s tech-savvy world;
She said the libraries also have the e-Ananse Amphitheatre, a magnificent live literature space where stories come to life, in the spirit of their Ananse traditions.
Ms Mintah said their knowledgeable and professional staff take pride in their work in helping library users achieve their full potential.
“Our commitment to Ghana is longstanding and long-term, and we’re working hard to make the e-Ananse Libraries accessible to Ghanaians across the country,” Ms Mintah added.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, a Deputy Minister of Education, commended the management of West Blue Consulting and its partners for the initiative to introduce the e-Ananse Libraries project.
He said the Ghana Library Authority, together with the Ghana Education Service, is revamping libraries across the whole country to improve on the reading culture.
Dr Adutwum said there is the need for transformation of the educational sector, which would enable government transform the country.
“We need to change the pyramid, if we want to transform the country,” he said.
Dr Adutwum urged the leadership of the project to reach out to the Zongo communities to inspire them to also cultivate the habit of reading.
He said as a country, there is the need to change the reading culture, since many things now were buried in books.
Dr Adutwum said the Ministry of Education and the Library Authority would partner with the project to help improve the falling standard of education in the country.
Why e-Ananse Libraries
The e-Ananse Libraries house contemporary and classic books, predominantly by writers of African descent, that reflect our pride in our African heritage; they have an iHub with state-of-the-art computing facilities to equip Ghanaians through the Ghana-Oracle Digital Enterprise Program (GODEP), with the skills to compete in today’s tech-savvy world; the e-Ananse Amphitheatre is a magnificent live literature space where stories come to life, in the spirit of our Ananse traditions and boasts of knowledgeable and professional staff take pride in their work, and in helping library users achieve their full potential. Capacity building and empowerment is at the core of what we do.
Source: The Finder