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Updated: September 18, 2009 15:57 IST

Tamil Nadu launches movement to rejuvenate public libraries

Staff Reporter
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The Connemara Public Library in Chennai. Photo: S. Thanthoni
THE HINDU
The Connemara Public Library in Chennai. Photo: S. Thanthoni

The period beginning September 16, 2009, to September 16, 2010, will be celebrated as the ‘Library Rejuvenation Year’. Announcing this here on Wednesday, School Education Minister, Thangam Thennarasu, said the initiative would be called ‘Our World, The Library’.

It was aimed at giving a facelift to libraries, making the library environment livelier and encouraging adults and children to read more. “This is not merely a Department’s activities, but a movement. We want to bridge the gap between our libraries and readers.”

“We have even introduced the concept of library hour in our schools. Children will be taken to the nearest Panchayat Union library and be given time to read,” he said. Students reading the maximum number of books would be rewarded. They would also be encouraged to present reviews of the books they read, the Minister said.

Plan of action

The best-performing libraries across all the districts would be identified for implementation of a series of initiatives. A special drive would be launched to encourage more readers to enrol as members.

Readers’ circles and zones would be created to bring together those interested in books and also organise periodical training programmes and refresher courses for librarians, the Minister said. Forums for debating the content of books and reviewing books will be created.

The Directorate of Public Libraries, which is keen on creating a comprehensive virtual database, has received Rs. 1.5 crore from the Raja Rammohan Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata. “We will soon have our entire database computerised so that access and maintenance of our books become easier,” said Director of Public Libraries G. Arivoli.

The Directorate is also keen on constructing new buildings for libraries functioning at rented premises. The initiative would draw more public participation. Book lovers owning rare collections would be encouraged to donate copies.

Publishers’ support sought

Mr. Thennarasu also inaugurated the Tamil Nadu Book Publishers, Book Sellers and Employees Welfare Board on the occasion. The government had sanctioned Rs. 50 lakh to the corpus of the Board, being chaired by the Minister.

Mr. Arivoli has sought the cooperation of publishers, requesting them to register with the directorate’s database at www.pallikalvi.in/Directorates/DPL. “It will help make our transactions with publishers more systematic, easy and importantly, transparent,” he said.

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