To develop library services through voluntarism, our Libraries Unlimited programme has trained 58 youth volunteers from ten districts of Bangladesh. They were trained on the British Council’s Active Citizens curriculum and volunteers from these districts developed Social Action Projects (SAP) to implement their learnings from the training.
Right now, social action projects are being implemented by ten groups of volunteers in ten districts to improve and promote library services. The Districts are Mymensingh, Sherpur, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Moulvibazar, Natore, Chapainawaganj, Kurigram, Rajbari and Sariatpur. Under these SAPs, the youth volunteers have undertaken a series of activities based on the government public libraries in these districts.
The volunteers have been initiating activities to raise awareness about libraries and their services, organising outreach events and consultation meetings in schools and colleges, re-shelving the books in libraries, and re-organising different corners, including the children’s corners.
The youth volunteers of the District Government Public Library Sherpur, are conducting a school campaign. With the authorisation of the District Primary Education Officer, they are organising events in five schools to raise awareness among the pupils about the libraries. They are also promoting the new and innovative services available in government public libraries like Kano computers, toy bricks, customer computers and code clubs.
The Children’s corner of the District Government Public Library of Kurigram has now got a revamped look, as the volunteers have decorated this corner with mounted drawings done by the children members of the library. The youth volunteers of the District Government Public Library, Bagerhat have organised a Career Counselling session in the library.
The major objectives set under the Library-based Social Action Projects (SAP) are raising awareness about the libraries, promoting library services among the community and supporting library staff in delivering better library services.
Most of the librarians acknowledged that library-based voluntarism and library-based Social Action Projects have opened a new area of improved library services and increased numbers of library users in government public libraries in these ten districts.