September 23, 2017

National Library to be relocated to commercial hub of Yangon City

The historic building belonging to Burma Oil Corporation (BOC) during the colonial era is chosen for the new location for the National Library. Photo: MNA
The historic building belonging to Burma Oil Corporation (BOC) during the colonial era is chosen for the new location for the National Library. Photo: MNA

A coordination meeting took place at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday to discuss the relocation of the National Library to a convenient environment in the commercial hub of Yangon City.
The meeting attracted President U Htin Kyaw, Vice President U Henry Van Thio, Information Union Minister Dr Pe Myint, Electricity and Energy Union Minister U Pe Zin Tun and Construction Union Minister U Win Khaing.
The meeting reached an agreement to move the library from Yankin township to Pabedan township.
In a letter to the president dated 12 May, U Thaw Kaung, chief librarian of the Yangon University’s Central Library, suggested relocating the National Library (Yangon) from the isolated area to a more convenient place.
The National Library has a large collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts and other rare books, holding 172,556 books, 435,580 periodicals, 12,323 palm-leaf manuscripts, 345 hand-written letters, 25,468 rare books and other literary materials.
The Bernard Free Library was handed over to the Ministry of Culture in 1952 and renamed State Library, which was opened at the Jubilee Hall in Yangon on 1 June the same year. After being renamed National Library, the facility was moved to a building in Pansodan Street and then to Yangon City Hall. The library was moved to two new locations before settling in Tamwe township. The library building in Tamwe suffered some damage from the Cyclone Nargis in 2008 and as a result was moved to Yankin township.
Myanmar Library Association’s chairman U Than Aung and Yangon Heritage Trust’s chairman Dr Thant Myint-U wrote President U Htin Kyaw on 6 May and requested the relocation of the library to a proper place in the heart of downtown.
According to them, the library is much frequented by researchers only due to its isolated location.
U Tun Ohn, director general of the Department of Fine Arts, described the new location of the library as a convenient place for visitors. Myanmar Library Association’s chairman U Than Aung expressed his delight at seeing their proposal become a reality, adding that the national libraries of the ASEAN countries will soon appear impressive and grand.
U Htay Aung, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, said that his ministry was proud to hand over its office building to the National Library.
Dr Thant Myint-U of Yangon Heritage Trust said that the new location of the library would be at Burma Oil Corporation (BOC), which he said belonged to a world’s most influential oil company.
Daw Moe Moe Lwin, director of Yangon Heritage Trust, said the choice of the historic building for the library’s new location would make the library easily accessible to the public.
The new location of the National Library will be at No 604/608, Merchant Street, Pabedan township, Yangon, a century-old building surrounded by financial institutions and recreation centres.—Myanmar News Agency

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