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Promoting Reading Culture Through Community Bookshelves

Free Bookcases and Reading Programs Bring Books to Remote and Challenging Areas, Cultivating a Reading Culture in Communities

Efforts to Enhance Community Reading Culture

Over the past five years, the Vietnam Publishers Association and its members have made significant efforts to achieve the five goals set at their 4th General Assembly. These efforts have positively contributed to the overall activities of the publishing sector, aiming to develop a reading culture in communities.

Books Reach Those in Need

In 2020, the Vietnam Publishers Association donated 10,000 books and educational materials to youth in the Vietnam-Cambodia border area. In 2021, the Ho Chi Minh City Book Company, a member of the association, collaborated with the Ho Chi Minh City Youth Union and the Department of Information and Communication to donate over 15,000 books (printed, ebooks, audiobooks) to youth and residents in lockdown and quarantine areas.

In 2022, the association, in collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communication, donated books and educational materials to 50 elementary school libraries in five suburban districts of Ho Chi Minh City, organized according to categories to support teaching and learning according to the general education program.

Many publishing and book distribution members of the Vietnam Publishers Association have also contributed to building a reading culture in communities, especially in challenging areas.

From 2017 to 2022, the Reading Promotion Program and Book Fund of the Women’s Publishing House donated over 13,800 books, worth more than 1 billion VND. Millions of readers accessed books and improved their understanding of books and reading culture. Women, children, students, and families in difficult, ethnic, and mountainous areas easily accessed and were guided on how to use books.

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ATM Book and Community Bookcase Projects

Over the past year, the Vietnam Reading Project launched by Thai Ha Books has built 100 community bookcases in schools, agencies, and community organizations. Additionally, ATM book dispensers have been installed from North to South, bringing books to remote areas and spreading knowledge and values nationwide.

Recently, Omega Plus Books started a program to support the construction of 100 community bookcases, helping individuals and organizations bring books to less accessible areas.

Tran Hoai Phuong, Director of Omega Plus Book, expressed satisfaction with the substantial changes in promoting reading culture, emphasizing quality and professionalism in operating libraries/bookcases.

Tan Viet Books’ project, “Developing Community Reading Culture Spaces,” calls for public-private partnership to develop reading spaces in rural areas. Nguyen Kim Thoa, CEO of Tan Viet Books, aims to transform cultural spaces with books, as books are a vital element of culture, and encourages activities that make people want to read.

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Cultivating a Scientific Approach to Reading Habits

Parallel to making books accessible to communities, programs to enhance reading awareness and cultivate reading habits have been underway. In early 2020, the Vietnam Publishers Association encouraged over 30 publishers to contribute to a recommended book list to support teaching and learning in schools.

With its members, numerous reading promotion and guidance programs have been actively conducted. For instance, Thai Ha Books organized 100 free ATM book dispensers and group reading sessions.

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Dr. Nguyen Manh Hung, Chairman of Thai Ha Books, believes these are small steps towards a broader goal of promoting reading.

Sharing with Tri thức Trực tuyến, he said: “I think the time has come to intensify our efforts to spread reading culture among Vietnam’s 100 million people. We need to bring books to districts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, organize more book fairs in all 63 provinces, and establish more cultural spaces and reading culture facilities.”

The Women’s Publishing House of Vietnam focuses on developing the reading culture among the youth through family, school, and community-based reading guidance programs. These initiatives aim to inculcate reading habits among children and provide easy access to books in the community.

Tran Hoai Phuong mentioned that the publishing house is willing to advise on building community bookcases and developing reading culture strategies, connecting individuals/businesses with groups and communities in need of support.

There are now detailed and scientific guidelines based on experiences in establishing and maintaining reading habits in families and communities.

“All these developments inspire us to continue our journey of publishing fundamental knowledge and thinking about long-term strategies. In doing so, we hope to contribute to the reading promotion movement,” added Tran Hoai Phuong.

(Source: zingnews)

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