The British Council’s Libraries Unlimited Programme and the Department of Public Libraries have jointly inaugurated 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 on 19 March 2019 at the Sufia Kamal National Public Library in Dhaka.
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, while Barbara Wickham, Director Bangladesh, British Council and Abdullah Harun Pasha, Director, Department of Public Libraries and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs were present as the guests of honour. A. J. M. Abdullahel Baki, Director, Department of Public Libraries and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs presided over the event. Among others, Kirsty Crawford, the Programme Director of British Council’s Libraries Unlimited Programme and other members of staff of the British Council and Department of Public Libraries were also present.
Including Dhaka, the Public Library campaign will be taking place in 25 districts of Bangladesh – Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Munshiganj, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Tangail, Noakhali, Narayanganj, Comilla, Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati, Bandarban, Barisal, Patuakhali, Rajshahi, Pabna, Rangpur, Nilphamari, Dinajpur, Borguna, Khulna, Jessore, Kushtia and Sylhet.
The Public Library Campaign will raise awareness on new services introduced in Government Public Libraries by the Libraries Unlimited Programme. Facilities will include free access to computers and Wi-Fi for the users, arrangements for learning computer coding and programming for students and opportunities to enhance cognitive development in children through creative games. In efforts to revive the communities at libraries, this campaign invites people to read books and access the modern facilities installed the public libraries. Chief guest Ashish Kumar Sarker is optimistic about the outcomes of the year-long campaign."