Postcard from Bangladesh: Shaharima Parvin

Today’s post from our ILN Country Ambassador in Bangladesh gives us a glimpse into the world of mobile libraries in that country:

bangladesh busThe concept of mobile library in Bangladesh was established by famous writer, television presenter, organiser, and activist Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed. He is the Founder of Bishwo Shahitto Kendro.

Mobile library  is open to everyone. There are two types of membership facilities; general member and special Member. It spilled over into 250 sub-districts of the 56 districts of the country. The libraries can carry between 4,000 and 17,000 books to the readers depending on the capacity of the vehicles and on the size of the roads. The destinations of the vehicles are based on the sizes of the roads and each library travels to 40 places a week in villages and towns, and stays there for up to two hours to distribute books to its members. The members have a loan of new books of their choice and return the ones they borrowed earlier from the library. At present, the libraries have 125,000 members. This initiative will continue to be developed further for the progress of the country. 80 percent of the readers are students and women.

Recently, Bishwo Shahitto Kendro (BSK) launched its online book reading programme “Alor Pathshala” (school of enlightenment). Under the service, people will get the opportunity to read 72 local and international classics, all published by the Kendro, after downloading those from the website.

Readers have to register first to get access to an online library and download the books free. Those who will read four books from the library and pass an online quiz will receive a printed book as gift via courier.  Though mobile libraries are yet to reach every part of the country. But this online programme can improve on the deed of mobile libraries and can reach everywhere.

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