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Building Libraries One Article at a Time

Posted by Ian Palmer on August 2, 2011

With support from customers and partners like you, we are excited to announce that we have built our first library together. A portion of the proceeds from your orders, our contributions and the work of Room to Read, have enabled a brand new library to be established in Bardiya, Nepal.

This is a great collective achievement with real-world impact!

We’ll post pictures to our Facebook page once we have them, but we didn’t want to delay sharing this good news until then. Please read below for information about the library, Bardiya, and the people of Bardiya.

And there is more good news: through document delivery and reprints transactions, we’ve already raised enough to create a second library!

For the next library, we want you and other valued customers and partners to choose the location. Please take a minute to vote for your prefered location. Voting closes September 30, 2011. Check back to see where we'll build the next library together. 


About Bardiya, Nepal

Bardiya lies in the Bheri Zone of mid-western Nepal. The region consists of fertile plains dotted with forests and agricultural lands. Gularia, the district headquarters, lies on the Babai River. Famous for its national parks, Bardiya is the largest and most pristine wilderness area in the Tarai. As an excellent habitat for over thirty different mammal species, Bardiya is home to endangered royal Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinos, wild elephants, swamp deer, and black bucks among others. The majority of people living in this area belong to the Tharu ethnic group, and most of them earn a living as farmers.

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Literacy in Bardiya 

Currently, Bardiya’s literacy rate is 45%, significantly below the national literacy rate of 64%. This is partially attributed to large populations of migrant farmers. There have been several movements within the past three years to improve the district’s ability to effectively provide educational programs and opportunities. Large, traditional families remain the norm. The typical household consists of a family ranging in size from five to seven. Generally, houses in this region are two to three stories tall and are constructed either from Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC) or stone and mud mortar roofed with corrugated iron sheets. Some of the houses have mud tile roofs.

While picturesque, Bardiya has been a district of heavy conflict. It is in the middle of the battle between the Nepali government and the Nepal-Maoist communist party. Over 200 Bardiya residents have lost their lives in the last 10 years. The continual chaos has frayed the district's social and educational infrastructure. 

About the Library We’ve Created

The library has already had furniture selected, books selected, field facilitators hired, a memorandum of understanding signed with the government and accepted the delivery of books and materials.  The major initiatives for 2011 also included:

  • Book leveling:  In the past, the libraries in Nepal have organized books by subject. This year they have started to classify all of the books that we provide to a library by reading level. This classification strategy enables children with differing reading levels to choose books that are at their comfort level. It also fosters children’s independent use of the library by enabling children to easily self-select books during recess or when they may be using the library unaided by a teacher.

  • Training:   In addition to the furniture and educational resources provided to the library, two trainings have occurred so far:


Phase 1 Training

  • Length: 3 days
  • Target Audience: Librarians/teachers/tutors
  • Topics: library activities, teaching literacy skills and reading
  • Total Participants: 24 (from 11 other libraries as well)

 Phase 2 Training

  • Length: 2 days
  • Target Audience: Librarians/teachers/tutors
  • Total Participants: 27
  • Topics: book selection, library activities, teaching literacy skills and reading


Topics: document delivery, reprints, building libraries, corporate responsibility, library vendors, nepal

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