Visiting A Private-Owned Library #misi21 #day6

In English: Bulian’s Reading Garden
Tofan’s library that is open for public

Taman Baca Bulian is a library located in Southern Jakarta, established by Tofan, Gesyada, and Dinda. What motivates Tofan to establish a library for the first time are low-level literacy of Indonesian people and that literacy rates at elementary school affects someone to have good grades at school and have productivity in their life. Looking at the local of Indonesian media, people are easy to become followers (rather than their own leaders) because they rarely read.

At highschool, Tofan likes to do research about Indonesian’s reading interest. There are 250 million people in Indonesia, but only 31 million people in Malaysia; however, in 2012 the books produced by both country has the same amount which is 15,000. Comparing to a more contrast nation, the USA which hsa 300 million people can produce 300,000 books.

Ridwan Kamil (major of Bandung city) once said that Indonesian people, on average only read 60 pages in their whole life. It means that if someone is 60 years old of age, that person just read one to two pages in a year. This depressing fact is supported by UNESCO data that states in Indonesia, only 1 person among 1,000 person is willing to read a book. Those condition inspires Tofan, Gesyada, and Dinda to contribute to education field through Bulian’s library.

It has been a long journey for Tofan and friends, since they work to set down Bulian in 2012. Tofan had lots of friends that could contribute books for this library, however it was still not enough for a proper library. Bulian had searched for donators and book sellers dilligently. They had approximately 200 books at the beginning, but now it is already 2,500 books.

Tofan said that Indonesia’s current demographic bonus can not overcome the ambitiousness of their first president and vice president, yet. Soekarno (1st president of Indonesia) once visited Germany and bought two sacs of books. The government of Netherlands had to help Soekarno to bring the books he bought to Indonesia.

The main reason of this phenomenon is the low ability of Indonesian people to read. No matter which age, some people can still be found unable to read a passage. Therefore, besides borrowing books, in Bulian library Tofan also organizes reading teaching. The task for Tofan and friends, also Indonesian citizen is still so much to level up the quality of society’s education.

[This article was written to fulfill my sixth challenge of #misi21: visit Taman Baca Bulian]