Praise for borough's head of libraries after receiving honour

Zoinul Abidin

Zoinul Abidin received a British Empire Medal in the 2022 New Year Honours - Credit: Barking and Dagenham Council

The man in charge of Barking and Dagenham's libraries has been praised for his passion for the borough's communities after receiving an honour.

Zoinul Abidin was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year Honours list for his services to public libraries.

He started work for the council in 2008 as group manager of libraries, but is now head of universal services.

This sees him responsible for libraries, community hubs, social prescribing, community food clubs, children centres, healthy lifestyles and a nursery.

According to the authority, he has developed and brought in a range of council and voluntary sector partners to work in libraries to enhance the role of the traditional library.

A spokesperson said his innovations have become widely recognised as best practice models.

Cllr Saima Ashraf, deputy council leader, said: “Zoinul’s passion for our different communities are second to none.

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"He has been very influential in providing community organisations and other partner services with excellent working spaces in libraries and other premises.”

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