Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Minister H.E. Vong Sauth inaugurated a library in Phnom Srok district in Banteay Meanchey province on Monday.

The new library aims to encourage young people and students to change their habits by reading books and doing research.

Located within Phnom Srok High School, the library has some 5,000 books in several languages on subjects ranging from history to mathematics and sciences. It also has computers and printers and other office supplies.

Speaking before some 300 students, the minister said the library was dedicated to Yov Chhum and Nay Sophat — the late parents of H.E. Keo Piseth, a member of parliament from Thbong Khmum province — who were teachers at the school.

H.E. Keo Piseth, who also serves as cabinet chief to National Assembly President Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, funded the library’s construction with his wife Lokchumteav Sim Sophal at a cost of more than US$80,000.

Outside of universities and high schools, Cambodia has only about half a dozen public libraries in provincial areas, said Margaret Bywater, librarian specialist at the Parliamentary Centre of Asia in Phnom Penh.

Bywater — who has been working with libraries in Cambodia for 35 years — said most were located in provincial capitals such as Siem Reap and Battambang.

“I hope this new library in Banteay Meanchey will be a catalyst to encourage other communities to establish libraries in provincial areas,” she said.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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