Libraries help create knowledgeable, informed society

National 2 minutes, 25 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

TO help create a knowledgeable and well-informed society, libraries play a role in disseminating knowledge by providing a variety of services and facilities to the public, an official said yesterday.

Datin Paduka Dr Hjh Norlila Dato Paduka Hj Abdul Jalil, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports said that libraries do play an important role in organising various programmes and activities to inculcate the reading habit and inspire the love for knowledge for all levels of society.

“A knowledgeable and well-informed society could stave off adverse elements and deal with challenges,” said Datin Paduka Dr Hjh Norlila in her remarks as the guest of honour during the opening of the annual National Storytelling Competition at Dewan Raya RTB in the capital.

The competition, which has been organised for 33 years, is a yearly project by the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP) to instill a reading culture among the children.

The permanent secretary said that the Language and Literature Bureau has a leading role to play in intensifying the reading culture besides other stakeholders in increasing the knowledge of the Bruneian society.

So far, she added, there is a total of nine libraries in all districts and a community library at Kg Rimba. All these facilities are designed to give the public the opportunity to utilise the service provided and to benefit from them. She went on to add that other facilities provided include the Mobile Library Service for the benefit of people living in the rural areas and for pupils of primary schools located at a great distance from the nearest library as well as bringing additional reading materials in addition to those available in school libraries.

She also urged members of the public to make frequent visits to the libraries, taking with them their children and other family members thus helping to promote the reading culture in support of the National Educational System for the 21st century (SPN21) and the Brunei Vision 2035. Parents as role models and initial educator for their young children play a pivotal role in promoting the reading habit among their offspring by finding time to visit the nearest library with them.

Similarly, she said, it is the responsibility of teachers to promote reading activity among the pupils. Inculcating the reading habit among the schoolchildren and honing their reading skills are essential in bringing about a reading society, she added.

”By engaging our children in reading, they will be spared from getting involved in unbeneficial activities such as loitering and loafing,” she said, adding that their spare time must be spent in reading books in the library or at home, thereby stimulating they minds, eliminating boredom and stress.

“Such children will become more innovative, competitive and forward-thinking,” she said.

Children who frequently read stories with moral lessons tend to become more kind-hearted and considerate in their interaction with people in society, she added.

The Brunei Times