The villagers in Binh Vong Village of Van Binh Commune in Thuong Tin District, Ha Tay Province often talk about Mr. Duong Van Phi with respect because he has spent his time and energy building up a library for his villagers to broaden their knowledge.
As a retired educational officer, he knows the importance of books to human life. Seeing the shortage of this kind of food for the mind in his village, he determined to build a place for reading and relaxing.
At first, he only received suspicious looks from the local authorities as well as the villagers, but with a strong belief in his idea he went to every house in the village to explain to them the influence of books in their lives in order to find support.
After recognizing his good intentions, the villagers raised funds to repair the compartment of a communal house in the village for the library.
With only a little money in funds, finding books, newspapers, and magazines for the new library was not easy. To solve this major problem, Mr. Phi and the village leaders wrote of their dilemma to the villagers who were working in many offices throughout the country.
Moved by Mr. Phi’s goodwill, the villagers eagerly donated books for the new library; since then, the collection has been continuously increasing.
Nowadays, the library owns about two thousand books, 500 newspapers, and magazines of all kinds.
To run the library in an effective way, Mr. Phi encouraged retired officers to take part. Besides lending books to villagers, Mr. Phi organized a club with many kinds of activities in library.
With suitable assignments and experience drawing out from weekly meetings, the library is now becoming an ideal place for everyone—from young people who want to gain knowledge to the old who want to relax or find fun in their old age.
To support this village’s library, the libraries of Thuong Tin District and Ha Tay Province have taken turns lending it up to 500 books and giving training courses to its librarians.
The library in Binh Vong Village is so successful that it has been visited by the leaders of the National Library of Viet Nam accompanied with the representatives of the National Library of Sweden and a delegation from Vietnam Museum of Ethnology.
The establishment of this kind of activity has contributed to the movement of leading a cultural life within the community.