Sharing is caring in terms of books

VietNamNet Bridge – Book boxes along the streets of Germany and the sight of people reading while on the subways in Belgium greatly impressed Vietnamese PhD student Nguyen Tuan Nam during his time in Europe.

Free library, share the love for reading, Book Street,  Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam

Nguyen Tuan Nam (left), co-founder of edtech company Blacasa and Dang Dinh Tuyen, a member of ’Sách chuyền tay’ (Books in the City) in Hanoi at the free library based at No 5, Lane 92 Lang Ha Street, Hanoi. 


The 31-year-old explained he thought being able to take or leave books for free was a great way to share the love for reading.

When he returned to Vietnam a few months ago, Nam said he was very happy and surprised to learn there was a similar project in his country.

Nam, a co-founder of an education tech start-up company, met with members of the book sharing project ‘Sách Chuyền Tay’ (Books in the City) in Hanoi.

Their meetings led to Nam offering the project a space to open a free library or an office where people could gather, read, borrow or give books.

Nam’s company Blacasa, which applies information technology to connect tutors with people who need tutors, was established in 2017 and now rents two floors of a building in at No 5, Lane 92 Lang Ha Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi.

He decided to give the book sharing project 10 sq.m to make a small library with shelves on the walls and chairs and tables for reading.

Nam said that like Grab, Blacasa took advantage of information technology to provide better services where supply, demand and service fees are clear and transparent. In the way Grab connects drivers and passenger, Blacasa connects tutors and students.

However, in other cases, information technology and the virtual world still need physical assistance.   

The library that opened on January 20 this year at Nam’s office is an example of physical and meaningful assistance.

“It was a big surprise for us,” said Dang Dinh Tuyen, 28, a member of Sách chuyền tay in Hanoi.

Sách chuyền tay is a well-known project in HCM City.

It started in late 2016 with a few dozen books owned by four young people in HCM City who used Facebook to connect with those who wanted to borrow books.

Gradually, more and more people learned about the project and wanted to donate and borrow books. By September, 2017, under the project, a book shelf named ‘Tín Nhiệm’ was placed at the Book Street in HCM City’s District 1.

Free library, share the love for reading, Book Street,  Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam

People can use the library to read, borrow or donate books. — VNS Photos Bich Huong


Since the presence of the free bookshelf, the project has received on average 1,000 books monthly, with about 500 borrowed in the same period.

Tuyen said the project was also implemented in Hanoi on a smaller scale, mostly relying on the project member’s donations.

“We have eight members in Hanoi project team who are responsible for managing the books people give the project and the book borrowings,” Tuyen said, adding that each member covers the area where they live/study/work.

Tuyen said the team usually worked via the internet to check if a book was available for lending, where the book was and where and when the borrowers could get books.

“Without a fixed place, the project team usually faces difficulties in collecting and lending books,” Tuyen said, adding that team members all had their own work and volunteered for the project.

“Notably, book borrowers and book donators usually expect the project to open a public library where they could go to choose or give books instead of arriving at a private house,” Tuyen said.

Tuyen said the team did a good job collecting about 1,000 books in Hanoi but still struggled to find a place to open such bookshelves like the one in HCM City’s Book Street.

“Nam helped us solve the problem,” Tuyen said.

A public library could help promote the image of the project among public and spread it, said Tuyen, a salesman in online transportation service company vexere.com.

Nam said when the library opened at his office, his employees and those working and living in the neighbourhood had more opportunities to read books and share their books with others.

He spends about 15 minutes daily visiting the library and reading, he said.

“I tell my friends about the library and the book-sharing projects, inviting them to the library and calling them to give books they have finished,” Nam said.

“The project is for the community, so the community must be a part of it, especially companies should join hands as they have funds and locations,” Nam said.

“It will be great if companies spare a small space to develop such ‘Books in the City’ libraries,” Nam said.

Nguyen Van Toi, a technical director of a construction company based in the same building with the library, said that he liked the library very much as it was very convenient for him to borrow and read books.

He said he usually looked for books about technology and business.

“Reading helps me relax and reduce stress,” he said. 

Bich Huong

Source: VNS

Free library, share the love for reading, Book Street, Vietnam economy, Vietnamnet bridge, English news about Vietnam, Vietnam news, news about Vietnam, English news, Vietnamnet news, latest news on Vietnam, Vietnam
 
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