By Melissa Ganiere
Last month I attended the EducationUSA Africa Regional Forum in Ghana. The conference was remarkable, and I had the opportunity to visit a couple of Ghanaian institutions, including a local university library.
In honor of National Library Week, I wanted to share my experience.
The library was truly astonishing. In the facility there were no lights on. However, we weren’t aware of this until the librarian pointed it out, due to the extreme brightness coming from the floor to ceiling windows on most walls. The windows were placed like that intentionally so they could rely on the sun to produce light rather than utilizing energy. This is in line with university’s mission to be eco-friendly.
School books are included in the cost of tuition. They don’t want affordability or access to books to be used as an excuse by students, so all textbooks are provided on loan to the students at the beginning of the year. Once the books are returned at the end of a semester, the fees are refunded. They order updated textbooks about every four years.
While walking past a row of about 20 students at the computer lab, we saw perhaps the most amazing thing. As we peered over the shoulders of students, we saw not a single social media site open on any computer. Every webpage was of something scholarly. It was truly a shocking sight to behold!
Libraries are integral to the students we serve and provide support in credential evaluation. Thanks to Ashesi University College for sharing theirs with me. Happy National (and International) Library Week!