Bangladesh National Library is the top institution of the library system in the country. Its job is to collect and preserve all publications in Bangladesh and to manage them properly and make them available to researchers and readers. It was established in 1983. It is open to the public. It is located in the National Library building.
After the partition of India in 1947, the government of Pakistan established the Pakistan National Library in Karachi in 1962 and the provincial branch of the Pakistan National Library in Dhaka in 1967. After the war of independence of Bangladesh, a national library became essential for a new nation. Considering the necessity and importance, the government decided to establish a national library in Dhaka. On 3 January 1984, the government allotted a total of 4 acres of land in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar for the National Archives and National Library. Under the first five-school plan, a project proposal was submitted to the government for the construction of a permanent building for the National Archives and National Library. At the beginning of the establishment of the library, work was started on books, manpower, resources and materials from the provincial branch of East Dhaka. In 1975, the Bangladesh National Library started functioning in its own building at Agargaon.
The National Library, including the National Archives, is placed under the Department of Archives and Libraries . The department is managed under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
The government installed air-conditioning in the library in 1986 as per the five-year plan. In 2006, the library was without electricity for a month because the Dhaka Electrical Supply Company and the Department of Public Works refused to fix it. The library was also criticized for not having an online catalog.
At present there are 70 government libraries at district and upazila level under the National Library.
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