The importance of libraries has been, for the longest time, overlooked by policy-makers.
This is evident from the fact that libraries, insofar as they function as hubs of knowledge, education, and entertainment, are largely absent from Bangladesh’s national consciousness.
Considering this, while we applaud the government’s decision to have a library in each upazila, in addition to observing a National Library Day on February 5 every year, it is important that government officials implement this considering the age we live in.
With the country moving towards a digital future, it is important that libraries evolve with time -- digital resources are not only more cost-efficient, but they allow for information to be spread amongst a much larger audience.
Our current education system lags severely behind in quality overall. A good point of contention remains how much our students are pigeon-holed into a specific kind of knowledge.
Libraries can go a long way in ensuring students have access to a wide range of resources outside the core curriculum, and providing less fortunate members of the public with access to a wealth of information.
The importance of libraries cannot be overstated as cruxes of knowledge to the public. They are, in fact, an almost necessary and complementary element to any robust education system, and it is good that this fact is finally being noticed.
A National Library Day is the first step, the next step is to make sure there are enough high quality library facilities, and that they work in harmony with the education system.