By Sailu Bah Gambia National Library Service Authority (GNLSA) has opened a week long exhibition on Thursday, 26 February 2015, at the main National Library facility in Banjul.The exhibition, which was graced by guests such as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), Mr. Baboucarr Boye, staff of the Library, students, renowned historians, Gambian writers, the media as well as civil society, seeks to showcase, both in texts and pictures, the library service from the colonial period to date and what it can offer to the public. In his welcoming remark, Mr. Alieu Sonko, Senior Library Officer, noted that the event is part of the celebrations marking Gambia’s 50 year anniversary. He said the Gambia National Library as an institution has a lot in stock for the Gambian people when it comes to both national and world history. Mr. Sonko said it cannot be exactly estimated but there are more than D125,000 books in the national library. He said that a lot of people are coming to the library to make research, adding that the facility can provide people with all what they need for their research in terms of materials on history, politics, economics, social history and many more. He concluded by urging the general public to come and register and to make good use of the educational materials in the national library. Mr. Bakary Sanyang, the Director of Bibliographic Services of GNLSA, elaborated on the main objectives of the exhibition which he said is to present “the gains made thus far as the custodians of the country’s written heritage”. He explained that the exhibition is divided into six parts, which includes the ones that examine the historical milieu of the Gambia from its early beginnings, key figures of the Gambia in struggle for self rule and eventual independence and the opinions about the Gambia’s economic viability as a nation. In her statement, Mrs. Matilda Johnson, the GNLSA Director General designate, described the occasion as a memorable day for all. “Our efforts have come to fruition and very soon you will see the wealth of information and knowledge available to you all in this noble institution,” revealed Mrs. Johnson. The Director General designate said as Gambia is celebrating 50 years of independence and nationhood, people should think not only the present and the future but the past where the journey started. She said this is the reason why her institution has decided to stage this exhibition to showcase the journey that Gambia has taken from pre-colonial times to independence, the first republic then the transition into the second republic and what Gambia envisages for the future. She said that they have thought it fitting to invite a cross section of the community to witness the occasion. “A community which we hope will be able to champion our cause for reading and learning and the quest for knowledge. A community which we hope will disseminate to the wider public and help promote the National Library Services,” added the national library head. She expressed hope that the GNLSA will become a household name across all the regions in the Gambia. She also envisages that this exhibition will be one of many and that it would put the Gambia National Library in the public eye. For his part, Mr Abdou Wally Mbye, the former Director General of GNLSA, reiterated some of the comments made by the previous speakers and thanked the staff for their tireless effort towards the management of the Library. He also called on Gambians to make the best use of the Library and the facilities it offers. Guests and viewers at the opening were taken round by the staff to view the posters, pictures and texts that were on display.]]>
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