Bangladeshi mobile libraries make books within common readers's reach

15:22, March 23, 2010      

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In order to make common readers in Bangladesh have access to books, World Literature Center, a local non-government organization, in 1999 launched a mobile library project which has expanded to many places of the country.

Kamal Hossain who is in charge of the project told Xinhua recently in an interview they have 30 mobile libraries now in 45 districts out of 64 districts in Bangladesh. "There are 6 mobile libraries in capital Dhaka," he added.

With the fund support from Norwegian embassy in Bangladesh and UK Department For International Development, the mobile library project started with the objective of "enlighten men" in Bangladesh and after 10 years of launching, the number of active readers has increased to 50,000 all over the country.

According to Hossain, mobile library project is open to everyone. "One reader can become a member after paying 100 taka ( about 1.43 U.S. dollars). With this membership he or she can borrow one book a time with the book price below 150 taka (about 2. 14 U.S. dollars),"he said.

"We have another membership. One reader pays 200 taka (about 2. 86 U.S. dollars) to become a member. With this membership he or she can borrow all books," he added.

In Dhaka, mobile libraries open 6 days a week which are from Wednesday to Monday. The running hours are from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.. One library covers 40 localities and stops in one locality for around one hour a week.

Hossain said 80 percent of the readers are students and women. "Except lending books, we also organize some programs unoccasionally like reading competition. The purpose is to enrich the lives of the readers," he said.

When visiting one mobile library in Mirpur residential area which is in the west of Dhaka, more students were seen in the library.

Khadija Akhter, who is a student in class 7, said she came every week to the library. "I like it very much," she said.

Miraj is a boy who studies in class 9. "I come every week to borrow novels. I sepnd my spare time reading books," he said.

About 100 staff members work in mobile library project. The number of books has increased tremendously since it launched.

"We buy around 25,000-30,000 new books every year to meet the demand of readers," Hossain said.

Source: Xinhua
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