Public Library campaign to create around 5 lakh new users in Govt Public Libraries

Ahasan, Dhaka, 23 March 2019

The British Council’s Libraries Unlimited Programme and the Department of Public Libraries have formally inaugurated their year-long Public Library Campaign- “Cholo Gronthagare Cholo, Dekhi Somvabonar Alo” on Tuesday at the Sufia Kamal Conference Room of the National Public Library, Dhaka.
Including the national level print and electronic media, Ashish Kumar Sarker, the Director General of the Department of Public Libraries and Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs was present as the chief guest, Ms Barbara Wickham, Country Director, British Council Bangladesh and Abdullah Harun Pasha, Director, Department of Public Libraries and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs was present as the Guest of Honours. Mr A. J. M. Abdullahel Baki, Director, Department of Public Libraries and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs presided over the event.

Among others, Ms Kirsty Crawford, the Programme Director of British Council’s Libraries Unlimited Programme and other members of staff of British Council were also present.
Ms Barbara Wickham stated the British Council operates in over 115 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society.

“We are working with the Governments and Civil Societies to develop open, participatory and enlightened nations. Through our Libraries Unlimited Programme, we are working together with the Department of Public Libraries of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs for the development of the library sector in Bangladesh. This campaign is a part of that intervention that will bring thousands of people to the public libraries of Bangladesh just in one year through promoting the new services available in Government Public Libraries. This is an open invitation for the people of these 25 campaign districts. I would like to say, come and join us in the campaign to explore your libraries in a new light.”

During his speech as the chief guest Ashish Kumar Sarker mentioned, the Cholo Gronthagare Cholo, Dekhi Somvabonar Alo campaign will invite people to be readers in the Government public libraries. Along with this, the campaign will inform people about the new products and services available in Government public libraries such as free computer and wifi facilities for the users, arrangements for learning computer coding and programming for students and facilities to learn and play with toy bricks for the cognitive development of children.

Sarker thanked the Libraries Unlimited Programme for ensuring these new facilities for the Government Public Libraries. He stated that during 2017-18 a total of 58.50 lakh people have used Government Public Libraries. Following the pre-campaign activities, organisers would host a two-day programme featuring storytelling, art and debate competitions for children and cultural shows in all the districts, they said. 
Addressing the campaign’s launch at Sufia Kamal National Public Library in Dhaka, they said that the campaign titled ‘Libraries Unlimited’ would run with a target of generating at least five lakh new library users in the project year.
Women, children, young people not in education or employment, micro-entrepreneurs, librarians, education stakeholders, public and private service providers, businesses and others would be the target people of the project, they said.
This campaigned will be implemented in 25 district government public libraries. Dhaka, Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Munshiganj, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Tangail, Noakhali, Narayanganj, Cumilla, Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati, Bandarban, Barishal, Patuakhali, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Nilphamari, Dinajpur, Bogura, Khulna, Jashore, Kushtia, Pabna and Sylhet, the organisers said adding that district administrations were directed to facilitate the campaign.

Sources:, New Nation, March 20, 2019, and Somokal, 20 March 2019