KUALA LUMPUR: City folks can now relax and read books for free while enjoying the beauty of nature at the Malaysian Librarians Association (PPM) in Kebun Bandar located in Sungai Bunus. (pix)
Honorary Secretary of the Malaysian Book Publishers Association (Mabopa) cum Kuala Lumpur World Book Capital (KLWBC) 2020 Secretariat member Sheikh Faisal Sheikh Mansor said in the Kebun Bandar PPM there are various plants and lounges provided to foster an interest in reading among the community.
“We welcome those in Kuala Lumpur, especially to indulge in such activities, namely cleaning the environmental area along the river. With such activities, we can encourage people to focus on the river area.
“In the past, the river was a place of activities or business centre and due to development, people started moving away from the river and polluted the river.
“With the efforts of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to beautify the River of Life (RoL) area, this is the time to breathe new life into the environment with beneficial activities that can encourage more people to come.
“Indirectly, we educate them while reading along RoL, that is what KLWBC 2020 hopes for in order to be a legacy in the years to come,” he said after launching the Kebun Bandar PPM and Little Free Library (LFL) in Kebun Bandar Sungai Bunus here, today.
He said with the two ventures (Kebun Bandar PPM and LFL), it was clear the objectives and purpose of the Local Agenda 21 Kuala Lumpur (LA21 KL) Neighbourhood Garden project in obtaining the cooperation of the local population on the banks of the river in Kuala Lumpur to help develop the area as an agricultural and recreational site.
“DBKL once held a LA21 KL Neighbourhood Garden competition and one of the criteria for the 2018 competition was to hold knowledge-based programmes in Kebun Bandar Sungai Bunus. So, the second launch of the LFL, is seen in line with the required criteria,” he said.
Among the facilities provided at the Kebun Bandar PPM are chairs and tables as well as a gazebo besides having crops such as roselle, lime, chilli, Brazilian spinach, galangal, okra, kesum leaves and cat whiskers plant.
LFL is a ‘dollhouse-sized library’ programme started in 2009 by Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin and Rick Brooks, a coach from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States of America to cultivate the reading habit.
“In Malaysia, the first LFL was set up at Nilai Impian in December 2014 by the Chief Librarian of Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) Nor Azzah Momin. The movement in Malaysia also attracted the interest of many individuals and government and private organisations throughout the country. Kebun Bandar PPM will be recorded on the world map,” he said.
He said, LFL has a unique and simple concept, individuals can take a book, leave a book (contribution), no return date, no late return penalty, no library membership card is required, and open 24 hours every day of the week.
“I hope all PPM and Bernama staff take this opportunity and together take advantage of the existence of this LFL to support the recognition of KLWBC 2020 in showing Malaysia’s high commitment in organising activities, book promotions and reading.
“This initiative is expected to improve the reading culture and be able to produce a knowledgeable and informed society. I call on Malaysians to continue reading and enliven the KLWBC 2020 in our country,” he said.
Present was vice-president 1 of the Malaysian Librarians Association who is also the former Chief Librarian of Perpustakaan Tuanku Bainun Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Siti Sumaizan Ramli.
Also present was Bookwalk & Bookhunt as well as Kebun Bandar PPM @Bunus River programme coordinator, Hasnita Ibrahim. -Bernama