SRINAGAR: The Director, Libraries & Research, Mohammad Rafi on Wednesday took stock of the infrastructure requirement in Public Libraries for upgrading these institutions as productive e-Learning-cum-Career Counselling Centers for dissemination of career and occupational information.
Chairing a meeting of the Incharges of Public Libraries at SPS Library Complex here, the Director Libraries said that in pursuance to the instructions issued by the Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha for digitally transforming the public libraries in J&K, the Department of Libraries has embarked on the mission to reposition these important institutions as multipurpose facilities, providing varied services considering the needs of users, especially the youth, in the modern digital era.
The Director Libraries said that initially the facility of e-Learning-cum-Career Counselling would be provided in the Central Libraries and District Libraries of J&K. “As a part of this initiative, state-of-the-art IT Hubs are being set up at SRS Library Jammu and SPS Library Srinagar in convergence with the Smart City Mission while the digital transformation of the District Libraries shall be undertaken in convergence with the Mission Youth, J&K,” he said.
He said the primary requirement for Public Libraries to come up as fitting e-Learning-cum-Career Counselling Centers is to have spacious and well furnished Reading Rooms to offer the most conducive reading atmosphere to the users. He said these libraries will be having Computer Hubs with internet and interactive video-conferencing facility for online learning and counselling. Besides, these Libraries he said shall be provided with potable water supply and separate washrooms for ladies and gents so that more girls use these facilities without any hindrance.
The Director Libraries said that once the requisite infrastructure is in place these Libraries will be linked with the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) through the institutional gateway to facilitate access of the users to around 3.5 crore academic resources including e-books, audio-books, lecture materials, thesis, reports, articles, journals, question papers etc.
He said the Department is also in touch with some prestigious Coaching Academies in the country to arrange free online coaching for J&K youth for IAS/JKAS/NEET/JEE/CAT/CLAT/SSB and other competitive examinations. “The Department has this year made available a large number of reference books for such competitive examinations,” he said.
The Director Libraries said that the Digital Libraries concept is a part of the project on how to reposition the public libraries in an environment of new social and technological challenges. “This novel project is aimed at rediscovering how the public libraries move forward and adapt to new technologies, new communities, new user-needs and information behaviours,” he said and added that these libraries will be different from the traditional public libraries by offering both formal and informal spaces for the users with a variety of IT-enabled services.