The only library in a World Heritage site?


November 28th, 2014

Gyan Bikas Knowledge node - Nepal

The Gyan Bikas community library, in Panauti – Nepal is a remarkable achievement. It is built entirely with the financial support of the people of Nepal. There were no corporate donations and no government funding – but people across Nepal each gave as much as they could afford. Children from across the country were encouraged to collect 1 rupee at a time in their piggy banks.

And now it is built and it could well soon become the only library in a world heritage site – if the local town’s application is approved.

The library is supported by our wonderful partners – READ Nepal, and now, in addition to a children’s library, a music room, a meeting room and an audio visual room, it also has a Practical Answers room.Practical Answers Room in Gyan Bikas

The new Practical Answers service is already proving popular with more than 1500 enquiries in its first 3 months of operation. They mainly focus on insect control in crops, potato farming. The team there also organise outreach “interactions” out at local community gatherings., The most successful one so far has been about how to make your own fertiliser and pesticide.

People pay 25 rupees (about 15p) to be a member of the library, and up to 100 a day use the library. Overall there are 30,000 people in the community.

In anticipation of gaining world heritage status the old library has been turned into a souvenir shop – selling handmade crafts to tourists. The profits pay the running costs of the library. This is one of the most recent libraries to join the Practical Answers programme – but I get the sense that it will soon be one of the most successful.

One response to “The only library in a World Heritage site?”

  1. Md. A. Halim Miah Says:

    Its very interesting and encouraging that People of Nepal and with the facilitation of READ and Practical Answers has been operating a successful knowledge services called Gayan Bikash. We would be very pleased if it can achieve its status in the list of World Heritage. Alike many community initiatives could not sustain in Bangladesh due to lack of management and monetary support. We see there are many initiatives from community participation but afterwards they are disappear. So we can learn what was their initial pains and how they overcome it so as development practitioner we could learn this earn from them their business model like daily subscription status, what knowledge services they provide and how do they assess the knowledge needs, including initial investment and existing sponsorship. I could add here one of the exciting case from Bangladesh who has branded as Walking Library. Mr. Polan Sarkar, a very old man of live in a village of Bangladesh. He walks everyday and lends books from home to home and one week later ho collect the landed books and re issue new one. He has a static library but this door step concept become more popular as women have better access to read books staying their home. (See https://www.google.com.bd/?gws_rd=cr,ssl ei=4xF8VNrYO8O2uQSsvoHwDw#q=polan%20sarkar). Its a momentum of building partnership or coordination between organization to organization and individual to individual for mutual benefit as well as to be equipped with more services and goods so that a service recipient would have more options to choice and pick the better one according to his or her suitability.

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