Can Brazil Build 39 Libraries Per Day Until 2020?

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.

This entry was posted in Education and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Posted February 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    A nation that invests in improving literacy and education for all is a nation with a hope-filled and exciting future. Congratulations!

  2. Ashley Mabbitt
    Posted February 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I’d be very interested to hear from Brasilian publishers about whether or not this might actually happen.

  3. Posted February 2, 2013 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    I find this very inspiring. We are trying to do something similar (ie setting up libraries where there have been none) albeit on much smaller scale in the Indian villages. and it’s making very visibly encouraging difference.
    Could I please be put in touch with someone who can tell us more about this?
    Many thanks, and all the very best wishes,

  4. kanyoni
    Posted February 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I think this is a very ambitious goal which is bound to fail. I would like to see few well equipped libraries, than thousands of underequipped and poorly staffed libraries. I’ve lived on three continents and I’m a librarian, so I know…..I feel that if the developed world wants to help, they should start small and try to achieve standards that equal or rival their own.