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Ensuring access of children to libraries emphasized

By City Desk
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Speakers at a function on Tuesday said both government and non-government initiatives are urgently needed to ensure children-friendly atmosphere at libraries to unlock their talents.
Access of children to libraries ultimately would help increase their reading habit of books on different disciplines of knowledge, they told the result sharing event titled "Library for literacy" at the Department of Public Libraries in the city.
The Beyond Access Bangladesh project organized the event as part of the efforts for improving children's literary outcomes through innovative programmes.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzamman Noor addressed the meeting as the chief guest with Director General of Department of Public Libraries Ashish Kumar Sarker in the chair.
Deputy Country Director of Save the Children in Bangladesh Dr Ishtiq Mannan, Office Director of Office of the Population, Health, Nutrition and Education of USAID Bangladesh Caroll Vasquez, Regional Director of IREX Ari Katz, among others, were present at the meeting.
Noor said, "We have to prepare books, which will be suitable, understandable and interesting for children. Every library should have children's corner so that they could spend their quality times in the libraries." The Cultural Affairs Ministry is working with development partners to ensure children-friendly atmosphere at the libraries for promoting reading habit of students, he added.
Different storytelling books and other cultural affairs activities should be incorporated with curriculum activities to flourish the latent talent of children, he added.
Dr. Ishtiaq Mannan laid emphasis on regular parents' gatherings and reading festivals for librarians for improving children's reading competencies and imagination.
He also stressed the need for intensifying the efforts and strong partnership among different organizations concerned to achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goal-4 by 2030.
While presenting outcome of the project, Shahin Islam, deputy director- partnership management of READ Project, Save the Children in Bangladesh, said, "After successful completion of the project, we have got very good result from all indicators including increased number of visitors to libraries and time spend in reading for pleasures."
"If we can provide necessary reading materials alongside other facilities at libraries, reading habit will increase among the students," he added.
The Beyond Access Bangladesh selected 20 community and public libraries in 11 districts to make use of the country's existing libraries as spaces for children and their families to enjoy reading and access more reading materials. The project provided reading materials for children at various levels, supplied multiple computer tablets with literacy-focused computer games, and trained library staff to use interactive reading games and other methods to help children learn to read.

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