The mobile library bus, launched here in Islamabad, offers an exciting and accessible opportunity for children to explore the marvelous world of books, especially for students of schools which do not have established libraries. The Mobile Bus Library Program has been initiated under United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Pakistan Reading Project to help re-establish national culture of reading in Pakistan in order to promote literacy rate.
The mobile libraries would travel to various schools run by Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) to bring books to children. Trained librarians onboard each bus would conduct story-telling sessions in each community they visit to spark kids’ interest in reading. The school kids can also issue books to continue reading at their homes.
Pakistan Reading Project’s mobile bus library program was officially inaugurated by the Assistant to the Administrator of the USAID, Donald Larry Sampler and the President of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), David Miliband at a government secondary school in Islamabad.
“The Mobile Library Program is just one element of Pakistan Reading Project which will help Pakistani children to start their own journeys in the world of books” said Larry Sampler speaking on the occasion. The USAID-funded $165 million Pakistan Reading Project, implemented by the International Rescue Committee, is one part of a comprehensive education program that the United States implements in Pakistan in partnership with the government of Pakistan to help increase literacy by taking a multi-pronged approach, he added.
The Reading Project would be supporting Pakistan’s provincial and regional departments of education to improve the reading skills of children. A mobile library bus would function in Sindh and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) over the next two years under the project and would bring reading materials directly to communities and help re-establish reading habits. David Miliband, President IRC said the project would help improve reading skills of children across Pakistan. “The mobile bus library is another step towards promoting a reading culture in Pakistan.”
USAID Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb and Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Development, Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to continue working towards improvement in the quality of education by helping to build the skills of teachers throughout Pakistan.