READ Bhutan

Rural Education and Development (READ) Bhutan

  • Founded:

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.

Online Catalogue: 
Countries served: 
Library staff total: 
Parent organisation: 
READ Global


Books and documents: 


Periodicals p.a.: 


Multimedia / Audiovisual Material: 

270 audio books

Annual growth: 

1000 books

Methods of Data Management

Cataloging Rules: 

Local design: simple system with codes to classify the different category of books and color codes. Eg: Book category (genre)/Author's name/assessment no and color codes for whether it is a reference book etc.

Classification System: 


Methods of Data Processing: 

Local design

Database Software: 

None (planning to use Excel to track books that are being checked out in the future)

Services and Special Activites

Publications Produced: 

Few books on folklore and women's health booklet

Special Activities: 

Livelihood programs and health trainings for community members


9 READ Centers in Bhutan network through annual meetings and through social media

Other Material

Challenges and Obstacles in Carrying out the Work: 

READ Centers/Libraries are to be eventually self sustained through community engagement and ownership. This is challeging as it takes time to build that trust and vitality among members of the community, and resource constraints to continue to build this vision of sustainability.

Strategies and Perspectives to Improve Services: 

Some strategies we employ to improve our services are:
1. Institute board members from the local community to manage the center with a minimum of 50% women
2. Include local language books to make it an inclusive space
3. READ Centers have space for every member of the community irrespective of their gender, age or educational background
4. Feedback system at the center through meetings and written feedbacks/comments
5. Form different clubs out of the library

Role envisaged within the Network of Networks: 

Sharing of best practices and resources with other READ Centers and ALADIN members.

Contact Information

Jigme Villa, House No. 61, Rabten Lam, Changangkha, Thimphu, Post Box No 1764

Tel.: +975-2-324626
Fax.: +975-2-334124
Contact language: Dzongkha, English

Contact Person

Ms. Karma Lhazom
Country Director

Type of parent organisation

International Organization
Nongovernmental Organisation

Area of specialization

Adult education
Basic education
Citizenship education
Community development
Health education
Life skills
Lifelong learning
Nonformal education
Popular education
Sustainable development

Related Documents

Related cities