The Ghana library app, is now live. Here's how It works.
”The Accra Central Library was my childhood haunt for Asterisk, Adventures of Tintin and Enid Blyton books. I would walk from my Dad's shop at Zongo Lane to High Street and spend my after-school hours laughing at Captain Haddock's “ blistering barnacles” outbursts and Obelisk’s appetite for wild boar.
Over the years the library became an empty shell of it's former self. Shelves lacked quality reads, books vanished off the shelves whilst others had pages ripped out of them.
Thankfully things are turning around for the public library and all other libraries in the country. The Ghana Library Authority recently declared 2019 as a Year of Reading to boost reading habits amongst the youth and students. They have followed this up by launching a digital library app towards meeting this objective and this has gotten several engagements on Twitter.
The Ghana Library App which is free and available on iOS and PlayStore is a digital collection of classical and some current books which have been collated through a collaboration with organisations & communities such as WorldReader, Britannica and FeedBooks . There’s different genres of books from fiction to non-fiction, children’s books, thrillers, etc available on the app which casts my mind back to my formative and adolescence years where I went on adventures with Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, characters in Aesop Fables etc. Whole digital collections of books by William Shakespeare, H.G Wells, F. Scott Fitzgerald as well as several African writers can be found in the app.
I recently downloaded the app, gave it a test, downloaded a few books and I quite like it. I will give it an 8/10 grade for user experience and 7.5/10 for user interface design.
Here’s an overview of how the app works, give it a try and share your opinion in the comments section, I would love to know what you also think.
As a user you need a library card number to register. New users will sign on with their name, email, location, and the library number which is issued automatically and sent to the users email after completing the requested fields. A temporary password is also sent via email which the user can change afterwards in Settings.
Find My Library (Library Locations)
My second favourite feature in the app has to be the Find My Library function located under My Account page. All library locations in the country have been mapped to this function so that no matter where you are in Ghana, you should be able to search and find the closest library in your vicinity. There are currently 63 libraries in Ghana and those 63 have been mapped to the app. Click on the region you are in to reveal where you can locate the nearest library.
A click on the Greater Accra Region field reveals these existing libraries in the city with Ghana Post GPS codes beneath each library name. Clicking the name of each library opens up Google Maps for live street directing.
It’s easy switching between each library vendor. WorldReader has more African writers and Kids content than the other three vendors.
It’s a relatively clean app with more focus given to the book covers.
Readers can also switch between a Light or Dark Mode for easier reading. The dark mode truly is dark, making the icons less legible on the page. There are also font variations for the font lover who wants to. switch between Raleway and Lato fonts for a more comfortable read .
The books are free also to download and depending on your network speed and size of the book i can complete a download within a minute.
Downloaded books goes into your personal library for offline access. There are also Highlighting features for the ‘marker pen’ lovers, this is achieved by long-pressing on the sentence of interest for highlighting options to pop-up. Another cool feature is the Play Accessibility function for the audio playback of the various pages. Very inclusive.
I was thinking of how cool it would be to share portions of texts in a quote form for easy sharing on Twitter etc then within a few seconds after that thought and testingI discovered this was possible! Long pressing on a text and selecting the share icon, places your text in an image format for easy sharing on Twitter. Now that’s intuitive and tech trendy!
The ease of use, convenience , relevance and accessibility of the app makes it a must-have app on your mobile device.
Isn’t there a saying that if you want to hide anything from a black man, put it in a book ? Well, now that book is on our devices which we already are addicted to so we have no excuse now.
Have you downloaded the app yet? What has been your experience as a reader?