The British Council’s Libraries Unlimited Programmeand the Department of Public Libraries have formally inaugurated their year-long Public Library Campaign- “Cholo Gronthagare Cholo, Dekhi Somvabonar alo” on 19 March 2019 at the conference room of the Sufia Kamal National Public Library, Dhaka.
Including the national level print and electronic media, Mr. 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 Mr. 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 Department of Public Libraries of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs for the development of library sector in Bangladesh. This campaign is a part of that interventions 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 Mr. 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. Mr. Sarker thanked the Libraries Unlimited Programme for ensuring these new facilities for the Government Public Libraries. He stated that during 2017-18 a total 58.50 lakhs people have used Government Public Libraries. This campaign will generate at least 5 lakhs of new library users just in one year. Ms. Kirsty Crawford, Programme Director of the British Council’s Libraries Unlimited Programme shared, we are working together with Government for the library sector development of Bangladesh. We are introducing customer wifi in all 64 government public libraries, and have donated almost one hundred computers for public use. She added, demand will be raised for the new services available in the government public libraries and the local community will be more interested to visit libraries after 2 day long gala events at district level.
About the public relations strategy of Cholo Gronthagare Cholo, Dekhi Somvabonar alo campaign, Ms. Zinat Ara Afroze, Development Communications Specialist of the British Council’s Libraries Unlimited Programme stated, to engage the population of these 25 campaign districts we have developed this very special campaign mnemonic. Here you can see happy male and female library users in the peaceful environment of a library under a bright sunny background. These library users will be inviting people to visit libraries all year round. This mnemonic will raise national awareness on new services available in Government Public Libraries. She added, our short audio visual on this campaign will also inspire people to use the government public libraries. Including this, there will be massive dissemination through social media. The Facebook page of Public Library campaign his available on facebook.com/publiclibrarycampaign.
In his speech, Chair Mr. A.J.M Abdullahil Baki stated, we have already circulated GOs to the officials of these 25 districts libraries to cooperate with the British Council in this campaign. Wishing every success to the campaign, he also mentioned Cholo Gronthagare Cholo, Dekhi Somvabonar alo will enhance library-based community engagement and engage the library users in Government Public Libraries. This campaign will be implemented in 25 districts of Bangladesh including Dhaka.
Including Dhaka this campaign will be implemented in 25 districts of Bangladesh. These districts are- Dhaka, Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Munshiganj, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Tangail, Noakhali, Narayanganj, Comilla, Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati, Bandarban, Barisal, Patuakhali, Rajshahi, Pabna, Rangpur, Nilphamari, Dinajpur, Borguna, Khulna, Jessore, Kustia and Sylhet.