Indonesians appear to have a low interest in reading-at least according to the World’s Most Literate Nations study published by the Central Connecticut State University in 2016, which ranked Indonesians at 60 of the 61 nations studied. The deficiency of interest in reading has encouraged literacy movements in a number of regions to take action. KELINGAN stands for Kelompok Literasi Pekalongan. It is initiated by two students of State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) Pekalongan, Central Java, namely M.Ulinnuha (always called as Ulin) and Najib Abidin (a well-known called as Bison).
KELINGAN is one of literacy groups in Pekalongan city which found on 17th of August 2017. At fisrt, M.Ulinnuha and Najib Abidin as the initiator, named KELINGAN because it has meaning in Javanese. In Javanese, KELINGAN means remember. By giving name “KELINGAN”, Ulin and Bison hope all people in Pekalongan always remember to read because reading is very important and necessary in our life. By reading we can see the whole world. As like their slogan “Remember! The world is in the book.”
As for reader segmentation, Ulin and Bison say that they are focus on Pekalongan people. Particularly for all people in Mataram field Pekalongan, those can read for free on Sundays morning. As well as, they can borrow the book they want just by leaving their photocopy personal identity. The maximum limit of borrowing is one week. Ulin and Bison are not just with theirselves yet there are for about 15 people help them to ‘bukalapak’ (means: an activity to keep the book by rolling out the carpet in order the reader can read in the place).
Up to now, KELINGAN still has 500 books. It contains various books, as like textbooks, atlas, komik, language books, fiction books, motivation books, magazine, and so on. KELINGAN also provides coloring freely for children from Kindergarten till Elementary School. Ulin and Bison say that they always get appreciation from archives and library agency of Pekalongan. But the appreciation is just thank you note. Whereas they need more books.
As a country with low reading rates, Indonesia should encourage its people to get used to reading. In this context, Pekalongan Regional Goverment should support, not only just giving thanks note, but also give the real help to KELINGAN. As an example, KELINGAN needs basecamp to put their books and other goods. Because all this time, KELINGAN doesn’t have a certain place to put their stuffs. They have to move from one place to another place.
But that is tough! Pekalongan Regional Goverment has not been able to appreciate properly. As the next generation, We have to reform this nation in order we are not left behind other countries. To build this nation better, of course we can not work alone. It takes cooperation from all lines. Both government, society, students or literacy activists. Let’s make Indonesia better. One of the ways is by reading. As like word from an English Philosopher, Francis Bacon “Membaca menjadikan seorang berisi, Berunding menjadikan dia siap, menulis menjadikan dia seksama.” So, Let’s read the books for our future. Reading for the future with KELINGAN…