Why did someone attend a presentation on ebooks?

I attended a presentation by an international supplier – Mallory International Ltd –  and their local partner – Sytris – this week, on electronic books or ebooks.  I have known that this platform was being worked on and trialed for quite some time, and it is of course relevant to the work I do at Ashesi‘s library.  In fact I am often asked about ebooks by visitors, and colleagues, so I am always on the lookout for a platform that actually works in our environment.  So the “outdooring” as it were of Baobab ebooks was definitely welcome.

But this post is not really to talk about ebooks – maybe I will do that another time?  but rather to mention a comment made by one of the attendees.  This person is a librarian, and works in a private university college here in Accra and she mentioned that she did not have any working computers in her library, nor was the library connected to the internet!  I couldn’t help myself and asked why she bothered to attend the presentation.  Her response was “for her self-development”.  I didn’t say anything more.

It is pretty sad though that there are institutions here in Ghana which have been accredited by the National Accreditation Board and consequently allowed to operate, and be mentored by public universities which do not have the most basic of 21st century facilities.  How do their students learn to look for information?

Upon reflection this is not just sad; it is actually a downright shame!

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13th Ghana International Book Fair

I did go to the 13th GIBF (Ghana International Book Fair) but I admit it was on the last day – Saturday 7 November.  So if I sound a bit disappointed, maybe that is the reason.  Several of the stands had no one there so I guess the companies/organizations felt it wasn’t worth their while to be there on a Saturday.  I did notice several representatives of mostly Indian printing companies which was quite interesting.

The other issue which slightly bothered me was the fact that there was going to be a launch of a book about Ghana’s President in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Dr Hilla Limann, which I hadn’t heard about!  So I had to make do with online reviews.  And eventually I will see, and probably buy,  a copy of the actual book.

I admit I had originally thought I would be able to attend earlier in the week, but that didn’t work out.

This is not to say that I didn’t buy anything; I did.  A couple of children’s books as gifts and a couple of adult books for work – all from Sub-Saharan Publishers who I am always happy to support, plus I usually find they have something which interests me.

Caine prize 2015 front cover 500I am looking forward to seeing and buying a copy of the latest Caine Prize collection of short stories which Sub-Saharan are co-publishing with New Internationalist, and other publishers on the African continent.

I always wonder how many people go to these Ghana International Book Fairs…

Library and bookish activities in late October/early November 2015

It’s a long time since I posted on this blog, but it has been on my mind recently,especially as I anticipate a very busy bookish week coming up.

Last week there were various celebrations connected with the 3rd Library and Information Week here in Ghana, including the official launch in Koforidua (Eastern Region), with Ghana’s Second Lady as the Guest of Honour.

Looking forward the annual Ghana International Book Fair will be taking place here in Accra, from Tuesday 3 to Saturday 7 November. There are a lot of workshops and seminars, which bring together those involved in the book chain here in Ghana.

For yours truly though I have to admit that what I really like about the book fair is the chance to stroll around the stands, and see whether there are any titles which strike my fancy.  I know I really don’t need to buy any more books, but I find it very, very difficult to resist, despite overfull TBR shelves.

And in the middle of the Book Fair week, the Ghana Library Association is having its AGM and Seminar, which should be fun, as I have managed to miss several GLA activities over the last year or so.