Among news of libraries crisis worldwide, journalist Paula Adamo Idoeta assessed Brazilian libraries’ situation for BBC Brazil.
Some new libraries were built in impoverished metropolitan areas. One example was the new São Paulo Library, built in the building of a former prison, called Carandiru, which was partially demolished in 2002. Today it attracts 30,000 visitors per month, mostly from the poorer northern region of São Paulo. Another example is the one from Manguinhos, in Rio de Janeiro, that serves 16 neighbooring slums and attracts 120,000 visitors a year.
Nevertheless, the article demonstrates that there is still a huge deficit of libraries in Brazil. It quotes the School Census from 2011, which points out that of the 146,000 primary schools existing in Brazil, only 52,000 have libraries, and out of 26,900 elementary schools, 19,600 have their own libraries.
In 2010 the Brazilian government passed a bill that obliged every school, public or private, to have an inhouse library by 2020. According to a survey by NGO “Todos Pela Educação” (All for Education), Brazil has to build another 128,020 school libraries by 2020, which means approximately 39 new libraries per day until the demands of the bill is met.
Ms. Idoeta noted that some of the libraries are unhappy about the National Library Foundation’s (FBN) priorization of incentivizing book production incentives, which they see as to the detriment of these library policies.
To counter the criticism, FBN argued that its plans for reading democratization, which includes building 400 new libraries and rennovating 434, will receive US$ 128 million in support over the next few years. According to FBN, in 2012, US$ 678,000 were invested in modernization of 83 libraries in 7 different states.