Between 2015 and 2020, Brazil misplaced at the very least 764 public libraries, in accordance with knowledge from the Nationwide System of Public Libraries (SNBP), managed by the Particular Secretariat for Tradition of the Ministry of Tourism.
In 2015, the database included 6,057 public libraries in Brazil, a quantity down to five,293 in 2020, the newest knowledge obtainable on the SNBP web site.
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For library specialists, the decline within the variety of libraries reveals a disregard for public energy in direction of probably the most susceptible inhabitants who should not have entry to bookstores.
In addition they warn that the variety of closed libraries could possibly be even increased as a result of present fragility of the Nationwide System of Public Libraries following the extinction of the Ministry of Tradition and the shortage of efficient oversight by the state programs whose knowledge feeds the nationwide system.
Public libraries are these operated by the municipality, state, federal district, or federal authorities that serve all audiences. They’re thought-about cultural establishments and due to this fact fall throughout the remit of federal public coverage – beforehand on the Ministry of Schooling and presently, with the lapse of its portfolio, on the Particular Secretariat for Tradition.
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This account doesn’t embrace faculty and college libraries that concentrate on college students, lecturers, and academic workers.
Requested by BBC Information Brasil, the Tourism Ministry’s Particular Secretariat for Tradition didn’t reply to a query explaining the closure of a whole bunch of public libraries in recent times, or what the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) authorities’s coverage on libraries is.
The Nationwide Cultural Plan, a set of aims for the sector in pressure since 2010 and whose validity was prolonged by Bolsonaro till 2024, has as one in all its aims “to make sure the institution and upkeep of libraries in all Brazilian communities”.
The lack of greater than 700 libraries in recent times retains the nation farther from that objective.
Public Libraries in Brazil
SP and MG have been those who closed many of the libraries
Of the 764 public libraries that closed in 5 years, 698 (or 91% of the overall) have been within the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais, most of them metropolis libraries.
In line with SNBP, São Paulo had 842 public libraries in 2015, a quantity that fell to 304 in 2020, with a lack of 538 models in 5 years. The quantity corresponds to 70% of all closed libraries within the nation throughout this era.
SP Leituras, the social group presently chargeable for managing the State System of Public Libraries of São Paulo (SisEB), confirmed that the numbers registered within the nationwide system are right and have been supplied by SisEB, though it’s believed that this the case could possibly be knowledge intermediaries and never the regulatory suggestions made on the finish of the yr.
In line with the group, a part of the decline within the variety of libraries might be defined by the pandemic, which has led to the momentary or everlasting closure of a number of models.
When requested in regards to the causes for the closures since 2015, earlier than the pandemic, SP Readings despatched the query to the São Paulo State Minister of Tradition and Inventive Industries.
“It’s tough to find out the explanation for the fluctuations (or decreases) within the variety of establishments. We all know that many libraries have sadly closed yr after yr, however we can’t say with absolute certainty that these are the definitive numbers “, replied the folder. , by e mail.
São Paulo had 842 public libraries in 2015, a quantity that has dropped to 304 in 2020, in accordance with the SNBP — Photograph: Disclosure/Marília Metropolis Corridor
Minas Gerais, in flip, had 888 public libraries in 2015, a quantity that has fallen to 728 in 2020, a lack of 160 libraries in 5 years, in accordance with SNBP knowledge.
When requested to touch upon the decline within the variety of libraries, the Minas Gerais State Ministry of Tradition and Tourism replied that “The federal government of Minas is chargeable for the information of the state register and in Minas Gerais for the variety of public libraries registered immediately the State Public Libraries [12/7] are 752 items of apparatus”.
In line with the prospectus, the replace takes place each 4 years and the brand new registration ought to happen in December 2022. “Different registrations are the duty of the entities that generate them and it’s as much as native authorities to take part or not in them,” the secretary added.
The closure of libraries between 2015 and 2020 within the nation reversed the pattern of earlier years.
From 2004 to 2011, when the federal authorities’s Open Ebook Program ran in partnership with municipalities, 1,705 new libraries have been created and 682 modernized in Brazil, in accordance with data on the SNBP web site.
Yr after yr, BBC Information Brasil requested the SNBP for the historic sequence of the register of public libraries working in Brazil, however obtained no response.
The survey was then performed by evaluating the 2015 knowledge obtainable on the outdated SNBP web site, archived by the Web Archive undertaking, with the 2020 knowledge presently obtainable on the Ministry of Tourism web site.
“Contempt for the weakest”
Fábio Cordeiro, President of the Federal Library Council (CFB), believes that the closure of libraries in Brazil in recent times might be defined by a lot of components.
“Libraries are cultural establishments, and in latest instances we have had the abolition of the Ministry of Tradition and an absence of appreciation for these establishments,” says Cordeiro. “The closure of public libraries exhibits an absence of funding and authorities curiosity.”
He additionally cites a disregard for the low-income inhabitants, which is extra depending on libraries.
“There’s a lack of motion focusing on probably the most susceptible a part of the inhabitants, those that haven’t got entry to bookstores, who haven’t got the earnings to purchase books so have quick access to e-book.”
Ebook gross sales in Brazil are declining yr after yr. In 2013, the best-performing yr for the nationwide e-book market prior to now decade, publisher-to-bookstore gross sales totaled 279.7 million copies, in accordance with a Nielsen BookData report for the Brazilian Ebook Chamber (CBL) and the Nationwide Editors survey performed Union of Books (Snel).
Ebook sale available in the market
Copies offered in hundreds of thousands*
*Writer to bookstore gross sales, gross sales to authorities will not be included
Final yr, 191 million books have been offered, down 1% from the 193 million books offered in 2020 and down 32% from the 2013 peak.
Additionally in 2021, the typical month-to-month earnings of Brazilians fell to R$1,353, the bottom since 2012, in accordance with IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics).
Additionally in accordance with IBGE, the proportion of Brazilian municipalities with public libraries has dropped from 97.7% in 2014 to 87.7% in 2018, in accordance with the newest Municipal Primary Info Survey (Munich) version that included this matter. The proportion elevated yr after yr till 2014, when it began falling.
Cordeiro additionally cites the development of latest applied sciences as an element that has diminished the variety of libraries.
In line with the Instituto Pró-Livro’s Studying Portraits examine, in 2019 68% of Brazilians stated they’d by no means gone to libraries.
However unit closures additionally look like affecting this, as that yr 45% of respondents stated there was no public library of their city or neighborhood, up from the 20% who gave the identical reply in 2007.
Adriana Ferrari, technical director of the Florestan Fernandes Library of the College of Philosophy, Humanities and Humanities of the College of São Paulo (FFLCH-USP) and vp of the Brazilian Federation of Librarians’ Associations (Febab), appreciates a weak point of the obtainable from the SNBP supplied knowledge, as there isn’t a efficient assortment of knowledge.
At the moment, in accordance with the SNBP, the gathering is performed in partnership with the state and regional public library programs.
“Some states have more practical management over their authorities programs, others extra fragile management. So this bigger decline within the Southeast area could possibly be as a result of high quality of knowledge assortment,” he says.
“I do not really feel secure assuming it was simply these  Libraries which were closed. I imagine that this quantity could possibly be even increased as a result of for years now we have been witnessing the scrapping of the whole system of entry to data, studying, tradition and libraries ourselves,” says Ferrari.
“I do not assume that solely these libraries have been closed. I feel that quantity could possibly be even increased,” says Adriana Ferrari, Vice President of Febab — Photograph: Publicity/Bauru Metropolis Corridor
The librarian notes that the Nationwide Tradition Plan has by no means been fulfilled. And even after the adoption of the Nationwide Coverage on Studying and Writing (PNLE), referred to as the Castilho Regulation (Regulation 13.696/18), sanctioned by Michel Temer (MDB), the target of “generalizing the correct of entry to books studying, Writing, Literature and Libraries” made no progress.
“We do not have public coverage, we do not have a Ministry of Tradition, which is the division that manages the Nationwide System of Public Libraries. So the system exists, however with a particularly fragile construction. That is why we have not superior, we’re going backwards,” he says.
“The library isn’t just a spot for books and studying, it’s a door of infinite potentialities, for the opening of cultural repertoires. They’re locations of encounter, of belonging, so that they transcend collections,” says Ferrari, who promotes the strengthening von defends public motion to reverse this backlash state of affairs.
Throughout the Ebook Biennale held in São Paulo this July, CFB launched the #SouBibliotecaEscolar marketing campaign, which seeks to adjust to Regulation no. Non-public faculties throughout the nation could have libraries with a minimal assortment of 1 title per enrolled scholar.
The deadline to adjust to the legislation expired in 2020 with out the goal being met.
Febab will quickly launch a platform with the purpose of mapping all libraries of all kinds (public, faculty, college and group) within the nation. The thought is to have the ability to monitor authorities programs and assist them have extra constant knowledge on these public entities.