Agency Brasilia

Whether for a moment of silent study or to participate in cultural events, a visit to the library is always a good option. There are 24 public units in the Federal District, which offer a very rich collection of books, art exhibitions and access to computers with Internet.

“Every library is a place of culture, encouragement of reading, critical thinking, with the mission of developing sustainable products that reach all people, without distinction.”
Elisa Quelemes, director of the National Library of Brazil

The units are located in Águas Claras, Ceilândia, Candangolândia, Cruzeiro, Estrutural, Gama, Guará, Núcleo Bandeirante, Paranoá, Plano Piloto, Recanto das Emas, Riacho Fundo, Santa Maria, São Sebastião, Sobradinho, Sobradinho 2, Samambaia, Taguatinga and Vicente Saucer. The Secretary for Culture and Creative Economy (Sečec) keeps a list with complete information about public libraries in order to facilitate access for citizens.

The units are coordinated by the National Library of Brazil (BNB). Powers, defined by Decree no. 17,684 of September 18, 1996, include providing technical and operational support to public libraries, sharing planning activities and managing the expansion program of the Mala do Livro library.

Founded in the 1990s, the Guará library gathers a literary collection with more than 8 thousand copies, displayed in two rooms | Photos: Renato Araújo / Brasília Agency

Matters such as operations, assets and asset budgeting, opening hours, customer service, book loans, among others, are the responsibility of the administrative region in which the unit is located.

According to the director of BNB, Elise Quelemes, public libraries have their own characteristics, such as concern for mobilizing the community to represent and achieve regional interests. As a result, the collection and services offered by the unit respect the peculiarities of the population.

“When public libraries manage to form a network, they gain strength from communities and can replicate methodologies that work, such as products and services,” says the director. “Each library is a place of culture, encouragement of reading, critical thinking, with the mission of developing sustainable products that reach all people, without distinction,” he adds.

A frequent visitor to libraries, self-employed Tiago Barros is studying for the competition in the Guará unit

Self-employed Tiago Barros, 29, is a frequent visitor to libraries. He, who is preparing to compete in the Guará unit, uses the quiet space to dive into books. “I’ve been coming here for about ten years to read, write, study things at university, and also to enjoy a quieter and more peaceful environment,” he says. “Before the pandemic, he even commented: ‘If you want to find me, I’m in the library,'” jokes the concurseiro.

Founded in the 1990s, the Guará Library has a literary collection of more than 8,000 items, displayed in two rooms. The third is dedicated to reading areas, with tables and chairs and six computers with internet access.

The exhibition ‘Brasilia: an outdoor studio’, with the works of the plastic artist Otoniel Fernandes, at the Guará Library: oil paintings depict Brazilian landscapes

The director of culture of the Guará administration, Julimar Pereira dos Santos, says the idea is to serve all visitors. “We want to bring the population closer because after the pandemic there was such a distance and a drop in movement,” he says.

Regional manager of Guara, Luciane Quintana, emphasizes the importance of public facilities for the well-being of the population. “The national library is an important and accessible instrument for exchanging knowledge, offering novels, poetry and chronicles, as well as books for those preparing for competitions and entrance exams,” he emphasizes.

Reading: synonymous with fun

In the southwest/octogonal area, the role of bringing culture closer to the population was performed by the community library located in Parque Bosque do Sudoeste. The space, which has existed since 2013, is under the jurisdiction of the city administration and offers hundreds of books for free borrowing.

“The library is essential for the intellectual development of the residents, even to achieve greater interaction between the community”, summarizes the regional manager, Junior Vieira.

The Cultural Director of the Sudoeste/Octogonal Administration, Henrique Behr explains that, in the public library, the deadline for returning books is indefinite because “reading must be done with pleasure”

Copies, with contemporary and classic titles, were donated by the population, as well as wardrobes, shelves and armchairs. Borrowing a book is simple: you just go to the place, choose a book, give your name and contact phone number. Each citizen can take three titles at once and there is no return date.

“The deadline is indefinite because, in particular, I believe that one should read with pleasure, and not rush to return the book. It is best to relax, without any tension in reading”, comments the cultural director of the regional administration, Henrique Behr.

Lucca Almeida, a 7-year-old resident of Cruzeiro Velha, goes with her mother to the public library in Parque Bosque do Sudoeste; her favorite reading is manga and comics

Little Lucca Almeida, 7 years old, who recently learned to read, loves the children’s books from the community library and has already taken them home with him. “My favorite is manga and comic books,” says a resident of Cruzeiro Velha, who goes there with his mother, Vânia Almeida, 46 years old. She is a civil servant and works near the place.

“Lately, you don’t see children reading anymore. And I think it’s important for parents to insist on that, because that’s how it was back then. Everything used to be about books, today everything is digital. At least once a week we were in the library,” says Vânia.

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