Timor-Leste Art and Culture: The Future National Library and Timor-Leste Archives

Wed. 10 of November of 2010, 11:59h

The future National Library, projected by the Secretariat of State for Culture, is already under construction. The building’s first stone should be placed in August 2011.

According to the current Organic Law of the Ministry of Education, the National Library will be the Public Institute which will be responsible for the management of the libraries at the national level.

The purpose is to make the National Library “the headquarters for all existing libraries”, explains Virgílio Smith, the Secretary of State for Culture, who said that “many of the existing libraries in the country are in the schools. Some are created by youngsters, who take this initiative in the communities. Others are created by international agencies that have been developing work in this direction. Therefore, there are libraries in several districts. Now we need a headquarters to supervise and to coordinate all the activities of the libraries”.

The idea, according to the Secretary of State for Culture, is to transform the project into something bigger. “The development of the work raised several issues, as for example, the area where the National Library will be constructed. For now, we think it should be in Aitarak Laran, in the centre of Díli. Another issue was the way to maximize this project. It is defined that the Archive will be associated with the Library, so we will have the National Library and the Timor-Leste Archive. Probably, in an initial phase, the Library will also shelter some collections intended for the future Museum. It could also be the space, par excellence, for promotion of cultural events. But our objective is to create a high quality institution that also supports the education system”. Besides giving support to the national libraries network, the National Library will be open to the public.


*This photo was taken from the site of the Secretariat of State for Culture