Sufia Kamal National Public Library is going to launch mobile library activities across the country.
The Public Library has taken a project in association with the Cultural Affairs Ministry to run the mobile library programme of the Bishwo Shahitto Kendro (BSK) under its supervision, library officials told here.
The Public Library has already submitted the project titled ‘Mobile Library Project Across the Country’ to the Planning Ministry through the Cultural Affairs Ministry, said Ashish Kumar Sarker, director general (DG) of the Department of Public Libraries.
The mobile library activities will begin soon after the approval of the project, he said, adding that the estimated cost of the three-year project from July 2017 to June 2020 has been fixed at Taka 48.95 crore.
In reply to a question, the DG said though the project is late for a few months to begin, it will not create any difficulties as it is possible to adjust the lost time after approval of the project.
Public Library Principal Librarian Mohammud Zillur Rahman said the BSK will run the activities of the mobile library with its manpower, vehicles and books after approval of the project. Public Library will just do the job of a supervisor, he added.
BSK Consultant Kamal Hossain said the BSK has been operating the mobile library programme for 19 years while it has been being run with a government fund for last three years. Earlier, it was run with foreign funds, he added.
Currently, there are 46 eye-catching vehicles of different seven shapes for running the activities of the mobile library programme, Kamal said, adding that more 30 vehicles would be procured.
On an average, a mobile library visits 40 locations in a week in both urban and rural areas. It stays at a spot for half an hour to two hours for its members for distributing and collecting books, he said.
The members are informed beforehand about the time schedule and locations of the mobile libraries, the consultant added.
The BSK started its mobile library programme in 1999 in the country’s four major cities – Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna and Rajshahi, Kamal said, adding that the programme was later expanded to 1,900 locations of 250 upazilas under 58 districts across the country in 2014.
The mobile libraries have about 2.25 lakh members at present.