Library Association of Bangladesh

Library Association of Bangladesh (LAB) a national organisation for the library and the librarians was launched with the name Pakistan Granthagar Samiti (Pakistan Library Association) in July 1956. Some library management professionals including Abdur Rahman Mridha, AEM Shamsul Haque, Rokib Hossain, Siddique Ahmed Chowdhury, Jamil Khan and Toffajjal Hossain felt the necessity of establishing such an organisation. An adhoc committee was formed with Dr Nafis Ahmed, Professor of Geography of dhaka university, as the convener. Ahmed Hossain, Abdur Rahman Mridha, Rokib Hossain, AM Motahar Ali Khan and Nargis Jafar were members of the committee.

The constitution of the Association was adopted on 30 June 1957 in the yearly general meeting of the association held in USIS auditorium. The 15 member executive committee was formed in 1957 with Md Siddique Khan, Chief Librarian of Dhaka University as president, Rokib Hossain as general secretary and Abdur Rahman Mridha as treasurer.

After the war of liberation of Bangladesh the association was renamed as Bangladesh Library Association (BLA). It got membership of International federation of Library Association (IFLA) and Commonwealth Library Association (COMLA) in 1976.

The executive committee of the Association consists of 21 members. Along with President, General Secretary and Treasurer, there are three Vice-Presidents, one Assistant General Secretary, one Organizing Secretary including four Secretaries and ten other councilors. Six posts of councilors are distributed among six divisions of Bangladesh. The committee is elected for a three-year term.

The association's objective is to improve the quality of library service, improve the training and other facilities, and ensure connectivity with the libraries outside the country as well as to provide opportunities of professional development of the librarians.

A certificate course of six months duration was initiated by the then Pakistan Library Association in October 1958. This was the only institution for conducting course on library science before the commencement of postgraduate diploma course in the University of Dhaka. Rajshahi was the first place outside Dhaka where certificate course was introduced in 1973. At present, the association in some other large district towns operates this course.

The East Pakistan Library Association publishes a journal titled Upatta, which is regularly published since 1989. Moreover, this association occasionally arranges seminar, symposium and training courses on library science. [Md Zillur Rahman]