:: Peoples Time Online ::
DPL sent its first proposal to the Cultural Affairs Ministry to observe the National Library Day, but it failed to draw the government’s attention
Bangladesh has completed preparations for observing the first ever National Library Day in the country, highlighting the importance of books, reading, and libraries in the everyday lives of people.
The Cabinet Division in October last year approved February 5 to mark the day.
The Department of Public Library (DPL), under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, stated that the day was fixed as National Library Day by the then government in 1954, to commemorate laying the foundation stone of the Central Public Library.
The central library was later renamed Begum Sufia Kamal National Public Library.
In 2014, an assessment titled “Library Landscape Assessment of Bangladesh” was conducted by the British Council, suggesting that a day be observed dedicated to library awareness.
At the first ministry level meeting in 2015, the DPL was instructed to submit a proposal, in the presence of representatives from the British Council.
The same year, DPL sent its first proposal to the Cultural Affairs Ministry to observe the National Library Day, but it failed to draw the government’s attention.
On 2017, the DPL, led by its Director General Ashish Kumar Sarkar, submitted another proposal in this regard. Cultural Affairs Secretary Ibraheem Hosein Khan played a key role to convince the ministry to declare a day dedicated to libraries and books.
After receiving the proposal, the ministry held a series of sessions with the stakeholders, including university academics, publishers, and researchers. Within eight months, the proposal was approved and February 5 was set to mark National Library Day.
Sources from the DPL have confirmed that along with the department headquarters, libraries in 63 districts will organize day long programmes to mark the occasion, with the theme “Boi Pori Swadesh Gori”, which can be roughly translated to “Read books to build our country.”
In Dhaka, more than 2,000 professionals from 26 government and non-government institutions are set to attend a morning procession on February 5. Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Nur will inaugurate the rally.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith will be present as the chief guest in a discussion programme at the Department of Public Library on that day.