It has been a decade, as the collaboration between the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and the Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) to extend information and communication technology (ICT) and library services to rural deprived, unserved and underserved communities in Ghana dubbed the library connectivity project. This paper aims to evaluate this initiative from the perspective of relevant key stakeholders and through the lens of the digital inclusion model.
The study adopted a qualitative approach to evaluate the library connectivity project offered to deprived communities in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Interviews were conducted with the head librarians, ICT teachers and school librarians. Focus group discussions were held with pupils from four beneficiary schools of the project. The researchers also witnessed four of the outreach programmes and training sessions and observed the mode of instruction.
The study brought to fore the enormous benefits of the library connectivity project as it aided school pupils to acquire practical ICT skills, which were found to be useful towards their final exam. Despite the enormous benefit of the project, it was bereft with a lot of challenges such as inadequate logistics and personnel thereby restricting the project to very few schools. Low staff motivation and unmotorable roads were also found to be a challenge, which could all be as a result of lack of funds.
The paper underscores the importance of computer and information literacy and reveals how the GhLA is using innovative mobile library services to bridge the digital divide through the library connectivity project.
This paper makes a further contribution to the paucity of literature on the role of mobile libraries in the promotion of computer and information literacy.
Authors acknowledge that this study is not without limitations. They covered a relatively small region with its LCP catering for just a few schools. Further studies, with adequate resources, could conduct a landscape impact assessment covering the whole country. The findings such as those of this study, could inform the government and other stakeholders on the critical role of the LCP in the promotion of information and computer literacy. This would create a compelling story for regular budgetary support from the government of Ghana and other relevant stakeholders in the education sector.
Ayoung, D.A., Bugre, C. and Baada, F.N.-A. (2020), "An evaluation of the library connectivity project through the lens of the digital inclusion model", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 121 No. 11/12, pp. 805-827. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-02-2020-0047Download as .RIS
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