After a gap of 15 years, British Council Library reopens in Pakistan. An official inauguration ceremony was held on Thursday afternoon in Karachi which was also attended by Sind Governor Dr. Ishratul Ibad Khan. Revival of the library signifies the strengthening of cultural ties between Pakistan and United Kingdom.

Dr. Ishratul Ibad did the honors of inaugurating the library. While speaking about the library, he stated:

“This historic moment has come after [a void of] 15 years. The culture of Sindh dates back to the time of Indus Civilization, and today we plan to preserve that heritage. This will prove to be a vibrant cultural hub for the people of the two countries”

The governor of Sind further added that the British Council Library remained out of the sights but it did not fade from our memory even for a moment after its first closure. The governor acknowledged the determinations of two former British deputy high commissioners in the city, Francis Campbell and John Tucknott, for the restoration of library in the city of lights.

The governor also added:

“We have had a strong reading culture in our midst with Frere Hall grounds supporting and promoting book reading culture as well as Koocha-i-Saqafat. We plan to have good libraries in the city too, in the near future”

British Council country director Jim Booth also graced the occasion with his presence. He welcomed the governor of Sind and said the library pursues to foster student-teacher relationship and to serve the ‘brightest of the bright minds in the country.’ He also said that the decision to shut down the library after 9/11 incident was a bad one. He further stated:

“When 9/11 happened, in its aftermath it was a bad decision to close down the library. We need to see how to appeal and attract the young people to this library. It’s just not a place of books but a place where we can all be creative”

Jim Booth recognized the hard work of his predecessor Peter Upton by stating that the project is materialized largely because of him. Moreover, he said that a digital library will also be launched very soon.

Belinda Lewis who is the new British deputy high commissioner was pleased to see the rebirth of the library. While recalling his childhood, she stated:

“Way back in the day, I used to frequently go to the library in my hometown, then later as a young adult I would go to a place near River Thames in London from where I used to borrow books, that was my Sunday feat. Now, I can clearly see myself as a regular visitor to this library”

Membership and the timings

There are three kinds of packages that are being offered to anyone who is willing to become British council library member:

1- Rs. 500/- per month for an individual
2- Rs. 3,500/- per month for digital membership
3- Rs. 15,000/- per month for a family of six (2 adults and 4 children)

The library will be operational for 6 days in a week from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am till 8pm. Library will remain closed on Mondays.

Do you plan to become one of the members of state-of-the-art library?

Source: Express Tribune