The British Council's Libraries Unlimited Programme and the Department of Public Libraries jointly organised a day-long workshop titled "National Policy workshop on the Development of the Public Libraries" at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. The objective of this workshop was to have a comprehensive opinion and recommendation from the relevant stakeholders for the development of a national policy for the public libraries of Bangladesh.
Including the workshop participants, the Honourable State Minister Mr K M Khalid MP, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, was present as the Chief Guest. Mr A. J. M. Abdullahel Baki, Director, Department of Public Libraries and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Mr Andrew Newton, Deputy Director, British Council and Ms Kirsty Crawford, Programme Director of British Council's Libraries Unlimited Programme were present as the guests of honour. Mr Ashish Kumar Sarker, the Director-General of the Department of Public Libraries and Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs presided over the event.
During this workshop, the speakers mentioned the unique role of the public libraries towards facing the challenges of the 21st century to meet the national and international development priorities. The participants and speakers agreed together on the necessity of a National Public Library policy for creating an enabling environment for the libraries addressing these challenges. The Honourable State Minister Mr K M Khalid MP, Ministry of Cultural Affairs stated, "To accelerate the development of the public library sector and to ensure modern, demand-based and effective library services, formulation of a strong and comprehensive public library policy is an utmost need."
Ms Kirsty Crawford, Programme Director, Libraries Unlimited Programme, said, "Countries that enact national library policies are more likely to enjoy a robust, well-funded, evenly distributed network of public libraries." Mr Andrew Newton, Deputy Director, British Council invited the government and all other stakeholders to take the recommendations from this workshop towards the ultimate objective of developing a national policy for the public libraries of Bangladesh.