HYDERABAD: The British Library will soon be launching an ‘e-Library’ which will give access to thousands of e-books to its members. Pointing out that it is a globally accepted fact that youngsters today depend a lot on the internet, Ruth Gee, Regional Director for British Council (India and Sri Lanka), says the British Council is looking at integrating technology to reach out to a wider audience.
Ms. Ruth Gee, who earlier worked at British Council, Hong Kong, says the purpose of the Council remains the same — to build on cultural relations between India and the United Kingdom. “Our libraries in the country now work more as centres where people engage and interact with each other and though we may not be setting up any new libraries in the country, our reach has certainly gone up,” she says.
Accepting that the formal membership has gone down at the British Libraries across the country, she says the Council is looking at innovations so that more people engage over books. “We are looking at creating a new and larger audience and our programme ‘Books Gone Wild’ is one way of doing this,” she says. Recession might have affected spending in different sectors, but the Council has invested a lot in different programmes, she says adding that the Council is not looking at ‘investing in bricks and mortar’.
Another ambitious project that will soon be kicked off by the British Council in India is ‘Connections through Culture’, a programme that will connect artistes from India and the United Kingdom to enhance cultural relations. The programme is expected to be launched around April next year will give travel grants to artistes to meet and develop on their work.
The Council also has developed a network of 77 climate champions in the country. Aged 18-25, the champions are selected after a competition which displays their project ideas. “We are not into political discussions over climate change but are facilitating awareness about the issue through our climate champions,” she said.