The rise of modern media, internet and smart devices is killing traditional forms of reading books and newspapers. However, Nguyen Ba Nha bucked the technological trend to create a library for his community.
|New chapter: Visitors read books at Nắng Mai library on the opening day of the library. Photo vietnamhoinhap.vn|
The 32-year-old from Son Nguyen Hamlet, Son Hoa District, the central province of Phu Yen Province is currently studying at Thai Binh Duong University in Nha Trang.
Due to his family situation, Nha had to quit school in the ninth grade and went to work far from home, in provinces like Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Kon Tum, as a welder.
After a long time working in Gia Lai, his family moved back to Tuy Phuoc District of Binh Dinh Province. In 2005, he worked building bridges in Nguyen Ha Village. There, he fell in love and got married to Mai Thi Huy. They collected all their savings to buy a house and some land to raise their children.
Thanks to his hard work, he got elected to the People’s Council of Son Nguyen Hamlet (2016-2021).
In 2014, he was chosen as one of three young people of the province to attend the national outstanding young people festival in 2014.
Though he faced financial difficulties, he always desired a university degree.
To fulfil his dream, between 2013 and 2016, he enrolled at the education centre of Son Hoa. In September of 2016, he was accepted into Thai Binh Duong University, and is now studying at the Cultural and Journalism faculty.
In order to pay his school fees, he took extra work as a waiter at a cafeteria and a guard in a restaurant.
Nguyen Van Thoi, head of Nguyen Ha Hamlet, said Nha was hardworking, meticulous and eager to learn, “More importantly, he always thinks for the community,” he said.
According to associate professor Quach Dinh Lien, rector of Thai Binh Duong University, though Nha is not young anymore, he always tries his best in studying, and acts as a role model for students at the university.
|Honoured: Vo Thi Nguyen Hue (left) and Le Thi Hong Nguyet (right), deputy directors of Phu Yen Province, hand a certificate of merit to Ba Nha. Photo vietnamhoinhap.vn|
The idea of Nắng Mai library
Speaking at the launch of Nắng Mai library, held at his house, Nha said: “My parents were born in Binh Dinh Province, but they started their career in Gia Lai, where I was born. Later, my family moved to Phu Yen Village in Gia Lai. As I grew up, besides class time, I worked as a shepherd at Ông Ri mountain.
“I want to do something meaningful for this land, which made me who I am today. Since then, I have had this idea of setting up a small library at home so children in the village can come and read every day.”
He asked for books from most of his acquaintances in Tuy Hoa City.
His wife, Mai Thi Huy, said Nha had the dream of establishing the family library since his first year of college in 2016, “I totally support his passion,” she said.
During his time in college, Nha shared his passion of opening a library with his teachers, and was warmly welcomed by them. After posting on Facebook, he was given a bookshelf of 600 books by Pham Thanh Dang, head of the Political Department at Viet Nam Naval Academy in Nha Trang City.
“It was the first time I was given so many books, I was happy and shaken at the same time. It was like a dream for me,” Nha said.
Vo Thi Nguyen Hue, deputy director of the province’s library, said: “We are really happy to know there is a poor family in this mountainous province who opened a library for the community.
Previously, we didn’t have any kind of entertainment, but the library has started a kind of entertainment for us.”
At the opening of the library, Nha and his wife were given a certificate, two bookshelves and 100 books costing VND4.5 million (US$191).
Nha’s family were also given money and furniture to make it better.
The library now contains 2,000 books.
Nguyen Duc Thuan from Nguyen Cam Village, said he found the library helpful.
“Since Nha collected books from all places, I come here quite often. Now, he has officially brought the library to life. We don’t have to pay, as we can read here or borrow one to five books. Books here are of different topics, from law, science and technology, to entertainment and arts.”
Nguyen Hong Bao Ngan, a fourth grade student of Son Nguyen Primary School, said: “Books here are really diversified, among them are mangas and self-help books I like best. My friends and I always come here for free books.”
According to Nguyen Thien Tinh, head of Son Hoa Culture and Information Department, the opening of a private library helps build community cultural life, enhancing people’s reading culture. “We will send a librarian to help out.” VNS
Huynh Duc The and An Vu