By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Director General of the Gambia National Library Service (GNLS), Mrs. Matilda Johnson, made a fervent appeal for the authorities to facilitate their relocation to a better and more conducive environment.
Madame Johnson made this appeal before the members of the joint Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committee (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly on Thursday, 12 May 2016, during the presentation of her institutions annual and audited financial report for 20114/15.
She told the deputies that there is urgent need for the National Library to be relocated from its current location to the new site identified in Kanifing which is between the GRTS and Supreme Islamic Council headquarters.
“Our library, it’s sad to say, lacks the aesthetic appeal, the infrastructure leaves much to be desired, the equipment and furniture are way past their shelf life and the environment is very depressing, and erosion, saline water intrusion, termites and rust are the order of the day,” she said, describing the present state of the government funded library service.
The GNLS Director General said this proposed site is more central and accessible to those in need of the service.
Madame Johnson, in her presentation, underscored the importance of library service in the community.
She further elaborated on the activities of the Library Service during the period under review.
She also noted that despite the challenges and constraints being faced by GNLS, they are determined to carry out its mandate of providing a nationwide library service.
Mr. Baboucarr Buoye, the Permannet Secretary, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) who is also the interim Chairman of the GNLS board, reiterated the necessity and urgency of the National Library to be relocated. He appealed to the NAMs to support the efforts to expedite the process of the building a new national library.
He revealed that they have been facing challenges in securing the documentation of the land with the ministry of lands for the past 3 years.
The Audited Financial Report was presented by Mrs. Tombong Ceesay, GNLS Accountant, which was followed by the auditors’ recommendations on the accounts as well as the GPPA which rates the institution as 79% compliant with procurement regulations.
The deputy speaker, Hon. Fatou Mbye, who was presiding over the PAC/PEC, noted the concerns raised by GNLS officials for the consideration of the deputies and scheduled the continuation of the session to Monday, 16 May 2016, for further scrutiny of the reports.