August 12, 2019
Public library infrastructure in Bangla has seen huge improvement
Today is National Librarians’ Day. Over the last eight years, the public library infrastructure in the State has undergone a big change.
The Directorate of Library Services of the Bangla Government has done a lot of work towards providing knowledge to students across the State. It has started several new services and programmes for the almost 2,500 libraries under its jurisdiction.
Significant achievements in the field of library infrastructure:
Improvement in funding: The State Government allocated Rs 6 crore in financial year (FY) 2018-19 for the infrastructural and book-related development of 2,000 rural libraries, which is double the amount allotted in FY 2017-18, which was Rs 3.2 crore, for 1,455 rural libraries; and budget of the Library Department went up from Rs 14.88 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 50 crore in 2018-19
Increase in funds for needy regions: Quantum leap in funds released for needy regions – Rs 3 crore for more than 125 public libraries in the Jangalmahal region, Rs 5 crore for more than 135 libraries in the Hill Areas of Darjeeling district, more than Rs 13 crore for libraries situated in the SC and ST-dominated areas
Salary through account transfer on the first day of the month: Salaries of all employees of all Government-sponsored public libraries deposited on the first day of every month directly in employees’ accounts in public sector banks
Public awareness of Kanyashree: Public libraries have been raising awareness on iconic State Government projects like Kanyashree
Encouraging women: ‘Women’s Corners’ designated in many Government and Government-sponsored libraries to increase access to women readers including neo-literates, particularly in areas dominated by minorities and other marginalised segments of the population
Digitisation of books: 34,000 rare books digitised into e-books for availability irrespective of location of library member; digitisation of books at the district level also getting executed at a good pace.
New books: Books worth Rs 11.43 lakh bought for libraries across the State
‘Read Your Own Book’ section: New initiative taken to open ‘Read Your Own Book’ section in State Central Library, where anybody with little or no space to read at home may come to the library with their own books.
Improving infrastructure for backward castes: Emphasis being given on improvement of infrastructural facilities in the SC, ST, OBC and minority-concentrated areas, and the Hill Areas of Darjeeling district
Model libraries: 80 libraries being turned into model libraries
Study centres: Steps taken for opening of study centres in seven government public libraries for availing the study materials of Netaji Subhas Open University and of various competitive examinations; career guidance programmes held
Information centres: Information centres set up in several district, town and sub-divisional libraries
Long-term plan for improving libraries: Long-term planning initiated to improve library services of the State.
Computer connections: More than 400 libraries have been given computers with internet connection for the benefit of the readers.