The Ghana Library Authority has adjudged the Eastern Regional Library as the best library in Ghana with its Akim Oda branch emerging the best branch for 2019.
The region beat nine other regions while Akim Oda beat 59 other branch libraries for the coveted maiden awards.
The honour was at the National Reading Festival organised by the Ghana Library Authority to climax the Year of Reading in Accra aimed at encouraging reading among Ghanaians, especially children.
The competition was in three parts; 1st and 2nd preliminary sections and the final quiz competition.
The winners of the two preliminary quizzes later competed for the grand prize.
Western Region won the maiden national reading festival represented by Samira Labram and Kwabena Osei from Tessark Preparatory School in Takoradi by 71.5 points, while the Greater Accra Region represented by Theodora Ackon Mensah and Jill Kukua Donkor came 2nd with 63 points.
The respective winners were awarded cash prizes and all contestants given one-year free library subscription.
The Eastern Regional Librarian, Mr Evans Korletey-Tene on receiving the award for the best regional and branch library said the awards expressed appreciation to the staff for their collective team effort born out of the objectives set by the management of the authority at the beginning of the year.
The Acting Executive Director, Ghana Library Authority Hayford Siaw commended the eastern regional library for its great efforts and urged them to do more for the betterment of the authority.
Mr Siaw congratulated the winners and urged all contestants to continue reading for the development of the country as he highlighted some key achievements chalked in the Year of reading as a result of interventions.
“We have increased access points to the public by adding nine more public libraries this year and have renovated 22 libraries, among them include Tema, Bolgatanga, Tamale and many others across the country. This has restored the beauty of the once dilapidated library structures making it more conducive for reading and learning,” he said.
Mr Siaw added the library has steadily recorded increase in patronage in its facilities across the country, from 72, 5751 in 2018 to over 1,000,000 in 2019 and has increased library membership by 91% this year.
He noted that Ghana Library has added over 200,000 books to its stock and advised parents/guardians, “to bring your children/wards to the libraries, register them and make good use of the books available.”
The competition, which falls under the Reading Festival of the authority held across the country, was part of the objective to promote literacy and lifelong learning.
Reading Competitions were organised among basic schools in all regions where schools competed on a circuit, district and regional level.
The grand finale in Accra brought together 22 regional winners to compete for the coveted National prize.