Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Building Library Essential for Social Development


Building Library Essential for Social Development

The library occupies a very important place in social, economic and cultural development of a nation. The nation who does not use library or read books will frequently repeat the history, and the man who does not read books has no advantage over the man who cannot read books. In fact, library is the center of intellectual thinking, social activities and production of thoughts in a developing country. There is nothing more wonderful than a book! A message to us from the dead, — from human souls whom we never saw, who lived perhaps thousands of miles away; and yet these, on those little sheets of paper, speak to us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers.
Libraries contribute to long term processes of human capital formation, the maintenance of mental and physical wellbeing, social inclusivity and the cohesion of communities. This is the real economic contribution that libraries usually make to a nation. The fact that these processes are long term, that the financial benefits arise downstream from libraries’ activities, that libraries make only a contribution to what are multi-dimensional, complex processes of human and social development, suggests that attempting to derive a realistic and accurate overall monetary valuation for this is akin to the search for the holy grail. What it does show is that measuring libraries’ short-term economic impact provides only a very thin, diminished account of their true value.
Considering the critical economic condition while education and valuable books are increasingly expensive, public libraries provide information and educational opportunities free for all, regardless of their socioeconomic status.  In addition, modern libraries can present classes and discussion programs, and some even provide online continuing education courses such. Many focus group participants noted that libraries "level the playing field." While many people of higher socioeconomic status routinely purchase books, subscribe to periodicals, and conduct their research online without ever visiting a library, many lower income individuals and families do not have that option. Universal access is one of the most important strengths of the library. The availability of resources, technology, and educational opportunities provide everyone with the availability to improve themselves and their life circumstances. Even those patrons in higher income brackets need to prioritize their spending.
As the library is not confined to traditional libraries in today’s life; rather it can be consist of vast sources to non-stop learning opportunities including old traditional library, electrical, visual and so on. For instance, A purposeful learner can find television very educational, the minute somebody turns it on, he can go into the library and read a good book or when a client waiting for his paper work at a government office, he can use his mobile as a library before his job get done.
Despite all the educational resources and opportunities, unfortunately Statistics of book readers are almost zero. There are verities of factors but what is, somewhat, practical to call is to cultivate the reading habit instead opium cultivation and endorse reading culture instead of systematic cultural discriminations. Secondly, we need to warn the society that when a child opens a book or turns on an electric device he pushes the gate that separates him from elsewhere. It gives him useful or harmful choices of opening the door to unknown, misleading and poisonous resources. Hence, it is needed to be managed and monitored along with the mass media.
In the other terms, the success of library depends largely on the proper selection of books, journals and periodicals. There need to be a small committee of teachers or experts, for selecting the right books for library. The guiding principles in selection should be not the experts own idea of what books the students or the people must read but their natural, the social and psychological interests and needs must be considered. It is absolutely true to tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are.
To step up practical steps, there are need to highlight certain objectives. First, we need to specify some of the incredible work in which libraries are engaged. From tiny public libraries to huge city institutions with multiple branches, libraries across the country are building community and supporting local culture in exciting ways. Hopefully, they will encourage librarians interested in community services and cultural outreach to make connections with each other, share ideas, and build partnerships. Second, as we all know the value of libraries. It’s time to take the value we add and use that to advocate for better funding and more resources. Those who argue that libraries are becoming obsolete do not know what public libraries do in the twenty-first century. Libraries build citizens. They educate individuals and foster thoughtful communities.
Finally, it is important to draw the attentions of policy makers, business men, leaders and international donors to Invest and establish modern libraries in different parts of the country in order to get rid of illiteracy and abolish entire terrifying ground from Afghanistan. And recognize that properly funded library services contribute to the peace, social, cultural health and well-being of communities.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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