READ began working in Bhutan in 2008 with the goal of transforming rural communities by creating access to information and resources, and building a culture of reading. With the help of their partner communities, they have established up to now nine rural lending libraries in the country. Bhutan has one of the lowest literacy rates in Asia, and before READ established its first Center there, there was only one public lending library in the entire country. READ is helping to create vibrant places to live and thrive in Bhutan, by for example providing agricultural trainings to farmers or environmental sustainability programs for kids. Some of their most popular trainings include literacy programs (in partnership with the Ministry of Education), reading and writing groups, computer literacy classes, women´s health classes and community radio.
Their work is coordinated by 7 staff members at the READ Bhutan office and 18 librarians who are called center coordinators at the 9 different READ centers throughout the country.