The Department of Public Libraries tributes to Kazi Nazrul Islam

Mahabuba Akter,

The Department of Public Libraries, May 28 2021

On the occasion of the National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam’s 122nd birth anniversary, the Department of Public Libraries hosted a virtual discussion and cultural program on 25 May 2021.

The program was divided into two parts. The first part was a discussion session on the national poet and the second part was a cultural program.

Md. Badrul Arefin, honourable Secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs inaugurated the discussion session and cultural program as the chief guest while Asim Kumar Dey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, was a present as the special guest.

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Public Library Campaign “Cholo Gronthagare Cholo, Dekhi Somvabonar Alo”

TLT, 26 August 2019

The British Council’s Libraries Unlimited Programme and the Department of Public Libraries have jointly initiated a year-long Public Library Campaign- “Cholo Gronthagare Cholo, Dekhi Somvabonar Alo” (Let’s visit the libraries to explore the possibilities) through a soft launch event earlier this year at the Sufia Kamal National Public Library in Dhaka.

So far, the campaign has taken place in three district government public libraries of Rangpur, Cox’s Bazar and Narayanganj. We have welcomed dynamic debaters, creative artists, fascinating storytellers, builders, youths from different communities, women, children and elderly people to the campaign.

Around 5000 direct participants have been engaged through a variety of competitions and discussion sessions. Around 2,70,000 more people were reached through pre and post-campaign activities. In collaboration with the Department of Public Libraries, the Libraries Unlimited Programme is going to implement this Public Library Campaign across twenty-five districts of Bangladesh. The campaign aims to promote the new services available in the Government Public Libraries of Bangladesh, such as learning to code with the Kano computer and micro:bit, building figures using toy bricks and ensuring proper utilisation of WiFi access and computer facilities.

The Public Library Campaign also aims to help define new roles and responsibilities of people around libraries, facilitating conversations on the role of the libraries in expediting community engagement. The private sectors are now reconsidering their role in supporting the public libraries and micro-entrepreneurs are discussing the role public libraries can play in supporting their ventures. Women, youth and children are finding themselves closer to their libraries than ever before.

An increase in the number of readers has already been reported in these three libraries after hosting the Public Library Campaigns. During the discussion sessions with the youths, it has been found that they were visiting the libraries for the first time through these campaigns, and among these youth over 60% were female.

The Libraries Unlimited is looking forward to the upcoming Public Library Campaigns in the rest of the districts.


Computer coding and programming is bringing more readers to the government public libraries of Bangladesh

TLT, 26 August 2019

As a part of ensuring free access to children to learn 21st-century skills and get creative with coding, the British Council Libraries Unlimited Programme is offering free coding classes in 64 government libraries of Bangladesh. With the inclusion of this, more children are now coming to the libraries. Young students in uniforms of the hilly Bandarban district of South-Eastern Bangladesh are seen leaving the District Govt. Public Library of Bandarban after just having learned computer programming and drawing pictures through coding for the first time. Mashwe Thui Chak, Librarian, District Government Public Library, Bandarban said “People who never came to libraries before are now getting familiar with the services of public libraries after they attended coding workshops.”

The Libraries Unlimited (LU), a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project and implemented by the British Council, aims to modernise the public libraries of Bangladesh across all 64 districts and improve public access to information and knowledge.

Like the Bandarban workshop, LU has already engaged over 2000 children in coding through 20 workshops organised in between September 2018 to July 2019. The responses of these workshops have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

Sumaya, one of the participants at the Munshiganj Govt. Public Library workshop stated, “I really want to be a part of more workshops like this in future”. Era, another participant of one of the coding workshops in District Govt. Public Library, Cox’s bazar said, “Coding is something very new to me. I really loved it and I will visit the public library again.” The workshops have always been filled with children of different age groups, and a survey among the participants found that 99% said they would visit the library more often if activities like these were available.

These coding workshops helped to initiate relationship building between the librarians and the participants. One of the participants from Cox’s Bazar, Md Zubair who is a science student of 11 class in a local college, was introduced to the librarian of District Government Library of Cox’s Bazar, Mr Hrishikesh Paul by the British Council. There Zubair expressed his interest in volunteering for coding classes in the future with his friends. This motivated Mr Paul to initiate the formation of a coding club at the District Government Library in Cox’s Bazar. He stated, “Through this coding club we will be providing free coding classes to the members of this library twice in a week.” Within only a month, 20 new members registered for the club activities and library memberships.

Director-General of the Department of Public Libraries, Ms. Jahanara Pervin stated “The British Council is supporting us with computer and ITC skills and coding is a part of enhancing the creative learning among the children. I hope that coding will bring more people to libraries.”

Coding is one of the many initiatives being introduced by Libraries Unlimited to broaden the scope of services available in the public libraries of Bangladesh. It is expected that at least 1,75,000 unique library users will be benefitted from these devices by 2020. The British Council is determined to introduce more projects like this to increase the correlation between the UK and Bangladesh.


Prize giving ceremony held at Narail District Government Public Library

Rajesh, Noakhali, 23 June 2019

Photo: collected from the Facebook page of Narail District Government Public Library

District government public library Narail organised a book reading competition and prize-giving ceremony on 15 June 2019. The event was organised under the project ‘Online Library management and Development’ directed by Department of Public Libraries. Mr Mukul Kumar Moitra, UNO, Lohagara, Narail attended the program as the chief guest while the program was presided by Mr Tazmul Islam, Librarian, Narail District Government Public Libraries. A good number of participants participated in that competition and the winners were awarded after the competition on that event.

Doa and Iftar Mahfil Held at Department of Public Libraries

Ahasan, Dhaka, 2 June 2019

Photo: Collected from Facebook

Department of Public Libraries under the ministry of Cultural Affairs organised a Doa and Iftar Mahfil on 26 May 2019 at Seminar Room, Department of Public Libraries, Shahbag, Dhaka.

The Chief Guest of the event was Dr Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, NDC, Secretary(In Charge), Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Mr Md. Abdul Mannan Ilias, Director General, Department of Public Libraries conducted the event. Ms Kristy Crawford, Project Director, Libraries Unlimited and a good number of professionals were present of that event.

Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Bangladesh organises Iftar and Doa Mahfil

Rajesh, Noakhali, 2 June 2019

Photo: collected from Facebook page

The Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Bangladesh organised an Iftar and Doa Mahfil at Shawkat Osman Hall, Central Public Library, Shahbag, Dhaka on 27 May 2019.

State Minister for the Cultural Affairs K M Khalid was present as the Chief Guest while the program was presided by Acting Secretary of Cultural Ministry Dr Md Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal. A good number of dignitaries, including Mr Ashish Kumar Sarkar, Ex-Director General (Additional Secretary), Department of Public Libraries, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Muntasir Mamoon, writer-historian and professor and many others were present at the event.

Book reading and prize giving ceremony held at Sonargaon, Narayanganj

Ahasan, Dhaka, 2 June 2019

Department of Public Libraries has initiated several projects including Public Library management and development through online. Under the mentioned project, readers are connected up to the Upazila level. Recently, they have organised a book reading competition and prize distribution ceremony throughout the country.

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38 District Public Libraries receive book donation from Aloghar

Syeda Mukta Begum, 26 May 2019

Photo: Courtesy

Aloghar, a project supported by the Development Initiative for Social Advancement (DISA) donated books to the 38 selected public libraries across the country at Poet Shamsur Rahman Seminar Hall in Bangla Academy on May 21, Tuesday.

Planning minister MA Mannan was the chief guest, while former governor of Bangladesh Bank Atiur Rahman, MP Ferdousi Islam Jicasi and CDF Executive Director Abdul Awal were present as special guests.

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Prize giving ceremony held at Joypurhat District Government Public Library

Ahasan, Dhaka, 26 May 2019

Photo: Courtesy

District government public Library Joypurhat arranged a prize-giving ceremony on 22 May 2019 of the financial year 2018-19 of different national programs celebration.

Programs include essay writing, good handwriting, storytelling etc. Several government officials were present as Chief and special guests while Mr Md. Rokonuzzaman, Librarian of the said library presided over the program. Different age groups from local school and college level students participated in the competition.

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