KERALA

Library council to set up tribal and digital libraries

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: : The Kerala State Library Council has decided to set up tribal and digital libraries in the State this year.

The proposal for the twin project has been envisaged in the council's budget for the year 2005-2006.

Apart from broadening the activities of libraries to newer areas, the proposal aims at improving reading habits among children and equipping women in library-related work.

It has also been decided to set up a `students corners' in selected libraries that will provide the members with necessary assistance in pursuing their studies.

Discussion on various topics of academic interest, guidance in preparing projects, reference books, and study materials based on the current syllabus and revised examination patterns will be some of the noteworthy aspects of this facility.

A budget to the tune of Rs. 22.4 crores has been approved by the council for the purpose. Out of this, Rs. 13 crores has been earmarked for the development of rural libraries.

The council has devised a project under the title `Heritage conservation' for the preservation of old and invaluable books, manuscripts and palm scripts that have been gathering dust in libraries. The council has also decided to start a hospital library service at the Thrissur Mental Health Centre and at the Pain and Palliative Centre in Kozhikode.

The Council said that the Government was yet to fulfil the recommendations made as per the Kerala Public Libraries Act that at least one per cent of the fund allocated by the Government towards higher education should be given as grant to it.

The Council further pointed out that the Local Self-Government Bodies were defaulting in remitting the library cess of five per cent owing to the Council from the amount collected as building and property tax.

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