State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visited the Universities’ Central Library at the University of Yangon yesterday, calling for establishing a habit of going to the library for children.
At the meeting with librarians, she stressed the importance of the role of librarians to cultivate the reading habit for children, urging them to encourage children to come to libraries.
“I would like to claim that the world would be a very narrow place for a man without the habit of reading. It would be a life devoid of meaning for him. This is why children need to develop reading habits. Going to libraries and literacy must be encouraged,” said the State Counsellor.
She also praised a librarian as a dignified profession and one that deserves respect.
“Nowadays, reading habits are weakening among people,” said Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, “I am afraid that our children will become narrow-minded. Instead, I would like them to love reading books and reading materials.”
Searching Google for a fact on the internet is not sufficient to become a reader because it will give only the outlooks and opinions of compilers of Google, she said.
The State Counsellor also pointed to the decreasing number of distinction winners in the subject of history in matriculation exam results, stressing the importance of studying history, calling the subject “the foundation of politics” or “the study of our society, our world and humankind.”
Other attendees included Union Minister for Education Dr. Myo Thein Gyi and other Ministers of Yangon Region Cabinet, Higher Education Department Director General Dr. Thein Win, and Yangon University Rector Dr. Pho Kaung.
After the State Counsellor’s comments, library science professional Dr. Sithu U Thaw Kaung said, “Reading habits should be cultivated starting from the primary school level.”
The librarians of Yangon University Library and Universities’ Central Library then discussed current initiatives.
The State Counsellor also inspected various kinds of books, the statue of Sayar Zaw Gyi exhibited in the library and posed for photos.
In 1927, the Colonial Governor Sir Harcourt Butler laid the foundation of the Yangon University Library, which was renamed Universities’ Central Library in 1964. In 1987, it was reopened as two libraries—Yangon University Library and Universities’ Central Library.