The Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) lifted the flag of Ghana high on the international stage when it was adjudged Library of the Year at the London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards 2021.
On the official website of the London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards 2021, the judges said: “It really struck us as an amazing story of transformation and an example of how library services can tackle some of the most pressing social issues confronting their users”.
“From using technology to support remote learning to promoting information skills, literacy and reading, this is a great example of the difference a quality library can make,” the official website quoted the judges as saying.
The GhLA was shortlisted alongside the Kenya National Library Services of Kenya and the Public Library Koprivnica of Croatia.
The award is being organised by the London Book Fair, in partnership with the Publishers Association (United Kingdom), to celebrate publishing achievements across seven categories.
Additionally, it is also to recognise organisations and individuals who have demonstrated originality, creativity and innovation within the industry.
A press release copied to the Daily Graphic listed the other categories as “The Audiobook Publisher of the Year; The Bookstore of the Year Award; The Educational Learning Resources Award; The Literary Translation Initiative Award and The Rights Professional Award.
Only two African countries, Ghana and Mozambique, picked awards. The Editora Trinta Zero Nove of Mozambique also won The Rights Professional Award.
Other award winners included Findaway Voices of the USA who picked the Audiobook Publisher of the Year; while the Educational Learning Resources Award category went to the Karadi Path Education Company of India.
The Rights Professional Award was won by the USA.
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The Chief Executive of the UK Publishers Association, Mr Stephen Lotinga, congratulated the winners, describing them as “hugely deserving winners of this year’s International Excellence Awards.
“It’s inspiring to see the great work happening in the books industry around the world — especially in such challenging circumstances,” he said.
Mr Lotinga said all the winners would be celebrated at The Online Book Fair in a series of “In Conversation With…,” events on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.
He said at the event, the winners would be speaking about their prize-winning work and the pressing issues within their area of publishing.
“These sessions will appear alongside author talks, publishing panels, seminars and more at The Online Book Fair,” he explained.
In an initial comment, the Executive Director of the Ghana Library Authority, Mr Hayford Siaw, said the award underscored the impact “we have made in the last few years in transforming public library service.
“From working with the Commonwealth of Learning to support over 30,000 Ghanaians enrol on its Read2skill programme, supporting the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) with a learning Management system for basic education and enhancing our digital library with video tutorials in the COVID-19 era, is a mark of innovation and relentlessness on the part of the staff of GhLA to support the Ghanaian lifelong learner,” he stated.
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