262 libraries for villages

Staff Reporter

Rs. 5.25 crore has been allocated for 46 library buildings

CHENNAI: The process of setting up 262 libraries in rural areas will begin soon, said Thangam Thennarasu, Minister for School Education, here on Tuesday evening.

Speaking at the inaugural of the 39th National Library Week celebrations at the Connemara Library, he said that Rs. 5.25 crore has been allocated for 46 new library buildings across the State. Four district libraries are also being refurbished.

The committee for the selection of books to be bought for libraries would be reorganised soon by the Chief Minister, he added.

Later, he gave away prizes to winners of the oratorical competition held for school children to mark the library week.

K. Anbazhagan, Minister for Finance, gave away medals and certificates for the Best Librarian Award 2006 to 30 librarians representing all districts.

He said that the scheme to allow philanthropists to contribute Rs. 1000 to libraries could help the public participate in the upkeep of libraries. He urged publishers to pay more attention towards the type they use and the binding of the books they bring out, since such factors also contributed to a good experience of reading a book.

K. Ganesan, higher education secretary, Tamil Nadu Government, said the statistics that showed 5.27 crore persons visit the 3751 libraries in the State needed to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Since most of these were repeat visits, the total number of visitors is probably a fifth of the number. There were more than 50 vacancies of librarians in government colleges, he said and urged the Government to take steps to improve facilities in libraries.

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