The first community library was launched in Kampar on Sunday, January 7 by Dato’ Nolee Ashilin binti Dato’ Mohd Radzi the State Executive Councillor for Tourism, Arts, Culture, Communications and Multimedia.
The idea was mooted by a coalition of 25 NGOs from Perak, in collaboration with Yayasan Pendidikan Perak headed by Datin Normah Hanum, President of Wanita Prihatin Perak.
According to Chairman of the NGO coalition, Dr Richard Ng, Kampar was chosen because a premise is available, which has been used over the years for motivational talks for students from poor backgrounds. Henceforth, it will be managed by Yayasan Pendidikan Kampar.
This project is in line with one of the nine focused clusters set by the Perak State government to narrow the education divide. Education provides knowledge and helps improve analytical and critical thinking skills.
The library has over a thousand books contributed by various NGOs and individuals. The reading room can accommodate up to 30 people and doubles up as a hall for seminars, talks and other educational activities. A cafe and other facilities will be added later to enhance its usability.
According to Datin Normah, Yayasan Pendidikan Kampar has been conducting talks and seminars to help improve the education level of the people in Kampar, especially primary school pupils. Malaysians, in general, read only two books a year compared to Europeans who read 30 books a year.
The Social Business concept will be used to support the running of this library. Thus the establishment of a cafe is deemed practical. Membership is free, however, a nominal fee will be charged. The money generated will be used to pay wages and utilities.
Ipoh, incidentally, was declared the 5th Social Business City in the world during the Pangkor International Dialogue on September 5, 2016.
Library users will be registered as KOHIJAU-ICYCLE members, which is free. They will be given an E-card which allows them to participate in the recycling reward point system by bringing their recyclables and dropping them in the recycling bin at the centre. They can then redeem their accumulated points with cash or coupons to purchase goods from TESCO or AEON or donate to charities. Yayasan Pendidikan Kampar, which manages the library, is entitled to 30 percent of the total collection to help maintain the library.
Companies and individuals who wish to contribute used books can do so by packing the books and depositing them in any of the 60 KOHIJAU-ICYCLE bins located throughout Perak. Details can be found at www.icycle-global.com.
Dato’ Nolee Ashilin will sponsor 29 KOHIJAU-ICYCLE bins to be placed within Kampar District to help residents embrace the recycling culture. This is to instil a sense of responsibility in people to keep the environment clean and healthy.