Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Centre plans to set up 7,000 libraries

Centre plans to set up 7,000 libraries

Sunday, November 01, 2009

New Delhi: With an aim to encourage reading habit among people, the Centre is planning to set up about 7,000 libraries having computers with internet facility across the country, a large chunk of which may go to rural areas.

These libraries will be opened as part of the National Mission on Libraries (NML), the Centre's initiative to revitalise the public library movement in the country.

Sources said the Culture Ministry has sent a set of recommendations in this regard to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who holds charge of the ministry. The new libraries, if the proposals are accepted, will be equipped with modern gadgets and broadband connectivity besides being networked with other leading libraries, educational and cultural institutions.

The recommendations were made as it was felt that these facilities are necessary in this age of technology and that is the only way to bring back people to libraries.

The ministry has also recommended that a major chunk of the about 7,000 proposed new libraries should go to the rural areas to benefit the students there, who are deprived of such facilities, the sources said.

They said it has been recommended that the new libraries may be set up in rural areas, especially near schools which do not have such facility.

"The Ministry will also be working in tandem with the HRD Ministry in this sector and we have asked them to identify schools in rural areas which do not have library facilities," the sources said.

They pointed out that establishing libraries near public schools will encourage students to develop reading habits. Besides, the library staff will also be trained to handle the technical devices.

The sources also said the recommendations include providing special services to differently-abled people in the libraries.

The ministry is also planning to give a complete make-over to public libraries across the country as part of the NML. "Public libraries across the country will benefit from the Mission which will bring in modern technical equipment to the libraries. These libraries in the country have not seen such things," the sources said.

The proposals include broadband connectivity to public libraries and networking them with other libraries and the ones in reputed institutions.