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The City of Libraries

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“ISLAMABAD- THE CITY OF LIBRARIES”

Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.
                                                                      _Broadcaster Walter Cronkite

 

Concept & Impact:

 “Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up  windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve,and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better”.

                                                                                                _Author Sidney Sheldon

Knowledge has been the main driver of growth, wealth creation and employment throughout the history. Therefore, there has been a wide-spread realization that for success in businesses, organizations, communities, nations, and societies particularly in the contemporary age of information, steps need to be taken to facilitate, creation and use of knowledge at all levels. Libraries being proactive catalysts of social change play a key role in creating literate environments. They embrace the social responsibility to offer services that bridge social, political and economic barriers, and traditionally make a special effort to extend their services to marginalized people. Libraries assist in finding, using and interpreting appropriate information that opens up opportunities for lifelong learning, literacy enhancement, informed citizenship, recreation, creative imagination, individual research, critical thinking, and ultimately, empowerment in an increasingly complex world. In many countries, people cannot imagine daily life without written information. But in many countries of the developing world such as Pakistan, there is a serious lack of reading materials and hence a lack of reading culture.

If literacy is not placed within a functional framework of relevance and if newly acquired literacy skills are not constantly used and improved, there is a real danger that those who have acquired literacy skills will relapse into illiteracy and the huge investment in school education and adult literacy classes will be wasted. Unless they are provided effective support through reading and learning materials, they may again fall in the category of illiterates. Here libraries may play a vital role by providing reading and learning materials to them.

You must live feverishly in a library. Colleges are not going to do any good unless you are raised and live in a library every day of your life.

                                                                                                _Ray Bradbury

By establishing 300 Libraries

  • 120 School Libraries
  • 100 Smart Libraries
  • 50 Reading Rooms (in Rural Areas)
  • 30 Hospital Libraries.

Read Pakistan is committed to make Islamabad a City of libraries- first city known for such identity.
Hospital libraries:

(Development of Libraries for Hospital Patients, their families and hospital staff)

“Any hospital stay means a very heavy emotional burden on the patients and influences their psychological state of mind. This is caused by the sudden loss of privacy, one’s familiar surroundings, and the social interaction of one’s everyday life;…by personal intervention, such as the offering of books and media, [the library helps] relax and unburden the patients, and in the final analysis, expedites recovery.”

(The German Institute of Librarian ship’s guidelines for Patient libraries).
Objectives:
• To promote the establishment of libraries / library services for patients
• To support an ideal of excellence in those programs already existing
• To encourage external agencies to extend library services to people in long-term care facilities
Mission:
Consistent with the parent institution’s mission, to provide patients with as broad a range of library materials and services as is possible.

Not many, if any of us…have personal recollections of the enormous therapeutic value of the patients’ libraries that miraculously sprang into existence overnight in the hospitals of the armies of the first World War…most of this heterogeneous group of men bore their hardships more easily by reason of reading matter that either diverted or nourished them in some mysterious way. For perhaps the first time since the days of ancient Thebes there was the realization on a very large scale of the fact that books may indeed be medicine for the soul – and, hence, the body.

Impact:

In Britain, prior to 1895, Dorothy Tylor conducted a survey of some seventy patients’ library services and subsequently reported the results at the Library Association’s eighteenth annual conference (Cardiff, 1895). Among its findings, her survey noted;

“Most of the hospital medical staffs queried, believing that books and reading contributed to patient care, urged that library materials be made available to patients”.

Edith Jones conducted a study on library services in some 121 psychiatric hospitals. The results showed what she felt were less than optimum conditions, thus she subsequently urged state library associations to devote more attention to libraries for the incarcerated mentally ill.

School library:

“Going to the library builds a kid’s imagination. Books help them discover themselves and the world”.

                                                                                                           _Baltimore Oriole

In the school library field, there are numerous studies and seemingly increasing stupidity in just ignoring them. The study by Dr. Ken Haycock, Director of the SLIS at San Jose State University shows that students, who attend schools with wellfunded, properly-stocked libraries managed by qualified teacher-librarians, have higher achievement, improved literacy and greater success at the post-secondary level. “The evidence is there for all to see,” says Dr. Haycock. “That’s why governments in the U.S., Europe and Asia are aggressively investing in their school libraries.

What’s disturbing is that policy-makers of Pakistan always ignored the findings of literally decades of research that shows why school libraries and qualified teacher-librarians are essential components in the academic programming of any school.” Standardized scores tend to be 10 to 20% higher than in schools without an investment in a school library program.

“Two leading U.S. researchers in the field offer this arresting conclusion;

“In research done in nine states and over 3300 schools since 1999, the positive impact of the school library program is consistent. [They] make a difference in academic achievement. If you were setting out a balanced meal for a learner, the school library media program would be part of the main course, not the butter on the bread.”

                                                                                                                 (Lance and Loertscher, 2003)

100 Libraries in schools particularly in deprived areas children of whom haven’t access to quality books.

Smart Library:

It’s a new concept. A new idea launched keeping in mind the dynamics of the new and the digital world, keeping in view the decreasing trend of library visits. Read Pakistan will establish libraries inside Organizations for their staff and in waiting areas of public places (where people come for their needs and wait for ten+ minutes for their turn e.g. clinics, beauty parlors, telecom franchises, banks etc). Read Pakistan will provide 200-500 books at such localities. Books will be on selected topics which lead towards human development i.e. self help international best sellers, travel, sociology etc; books about the human as well as national development.

Reading Rooms:

One reading room for one village. Read Pakistan has pointed out 50 out of 190 total villages around Islamabad (within Islamabad Capital Territory) to establish Reading Rooms. We are engaging community to provide rooms. Mosques may also be utilized where possible. Each reading room will consist of 5,000 paper books of different
categories, furniture and a librarian. Read Pakistan will establish a room and will run it for 2 years, after that they will be handed over to community.

Democracy, Human Rights & the City of Libraries:

Read Pakistan has developed/ designed this initiative supporting human rights by affirming intellectual freedom, privacy and confidentiality, and the rights of all people to access library services and resources on an equitable basis.

Librarianship is most closely associated with Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948, which concerns the human right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to access and share information and ideas. But alignment goes beyond Article 19. The city of Libraries and development of libraries under this project will also protect other human rights detailed in the UDHR, including Freedom Of Thought, Conscience And Religion (Article 18), Peaceful Assembly And Association (Article 20), Confidentiality (Articles 1, 2, 3 and 6), Privacy (Articles 3 and 12), Education(Article 26), and Participation in the cultural life of the community (Article 27).

Such Libraries will protect and promote human rights on a societal level—–serving as a cornerstone of democracy by helping people find quality information and develop the information literacy skills needed to be informed citizens and full participants in society. They will also protect democracy by promoting transparency in government, informing people about their rights and benefits.