Workshop on National Policy for public libraries

To review the draft policy for public libraries and collect recommendations from the stakeholders, the British Council's Libraries Unlimited Program and the Department of Public Libraries organized a workshop titled Policy Workshop on the Formulation of a National Policy for Public Libraries.

Dr Roknuzzaman, Professor, Department of Information Science and Library Managementmof Dhaka University presented the draft policy in the workshop, held in the capital's Westin Hotel on Thursday. Along with the British Council and the Department of Public Librares staff, over 100 participants attended the workshop.

While speaking as the chief guest Dr Md Abu Hena Mostafa Kamal, Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, said,  We need to regenerate the reading habit among the new generation and create the bridge between libraries and readers of this generation. Our focus should be developing a child friendly environment in every library.

A robust policy framework and a comprehensive national policy are required for the development of public libraries and making the services  effective and updated  for upcoming days, he added.

Tom Miscioscia, Country Director, British Council, Bangladesh said, The advent of new technologies has changed some of our reading habits. But our need for shared, community-centred spaces to find information and connect with others is unlikely to change any time soon. To survive in the digital age and stay relevant, public libraries need to be brave and innovative. 

A J M Abdullahel Baki, Director Department of Public Libraries and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs stated, To prepare the draft policy, we have interviewed over 1000 relevant stakeholders. The draft policy accommodates the opinion and recommendations of the people who are related to public librararies starting from readers to every relavant stakeholders. 

Dr. Abdul Mannan Ilias, Director General (in charge), Department of Public Libraries and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs presided over the inaugural ceremony. 

To be mentioned, the first national policy workshop on the development of a policy for public libraries was held on 28 April 2019. This day-long national-level policy workshop was the part of an ongoing process for the formulation of a national policy for the public libraries of Bangladesh.