To address the space congestion at the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck Public Library, Thimphu thromde is looking into the possibility of establishing five small libraries across the thromde.

The public library is 39 years old.

Thimphu thrompon, Kinlay Dorjee, said the thromde also plans to establish about five small libraries each for communities across the thromde.

He said that instead of a high-rise building in one place, the thromde is planning to establish a library in each neighbourhood for better accessibility. “When all the people come to one place, there would be congestion and parking problems as well.”

To address the space crunch, the 39-year old public library was provided with space at the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) premise. But the contract ended in 2016.

Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said the library in RUB hardly receives 10 people a day. “But if we establish libraries in each community, it would be useful to the public.”

He said the current library resources would be divided among the community libraries.

Since 2000, officials working at the library have submitted about six proposals for expansion and requirement for a bigger space to the thromde and other agencies.

The library has also recently submitted a draft proposal on the requirement of a bigger space to the thromde, which would be presented to Gross National Hapiness Commision (GNHC).

However, the officiating librarian, Tshering Phuntsho, said that it would be easier to manage the library if it is in a single building.

He said that dividing the resources such as the staff, books, furniture and even the Internet connection might hinder public service delivery.

The library has 57,479 books, 23 computers and about 400 furniture including bookshelves, tables and chairs.

The library has more than 4,000 members of which almost 2,000 are active members.

Officials say 70 percent of the members are students and that the library receives at least 50 readers a day.

Tshering Phuntsho said that the library in Chubachu receives about 40 readers a day while the one at RUB sees about 10.

He said that the library receives more than 100 readers on Saturdays. “We see at least five to six non-member readers a day.”

Karma Cheki