Rs 3 Cr Model Digital Library Coming Up In Baramulla

SRINAGAR: District Development Commissioner (DDC), Baramulla, Bhupinder Kumar on Wednesday said work on the construction of a state-of-the-art building for the maiden Model Digital Library in Baramulla would be started soon to provide an integrated modern library, reading room, mentoring, and career counselling facility to the students and other library users in the district under one roof.

Reviewing the progress on the construction of the building for Model Digital Library Baramulla in a meeting with Director, Libraries & Research, J&K, Mohammad Rafi and other officers of the Libraries & R&B Departments here today, Kumar asked the Superintending Engineer, PWD (R&B) Division Baramulla to start the process for construction of the building immediately.

The DDC said despite being one of the oldest towns in J&K, Baramulla is perhaps the only district in the UT which doesn’t have a full-fledged library building. The existing District Library is housed in a rented building with chronically insufficient accommodation. Kumar said he will personally monitor the progress of this ambitious project considering the long-pending popular demand for such a facility from the people of the area.

Briefing the DDC about the project, Director Libraries & Research said that the Model Digital Library Baramulla is being constructed at Cariappa Park at a cost of Rs 3 crore and the project is jointly funded by the J&K Govt and Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation (RRRLF), Kolkata and it will be first of its kind hi-tech library in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Director Libraries expressed gratitude to the District Administration Baramulla for providing state land measuring 02 Kanals and 12 Marlas near centrally located Cariappa Park to the Department of Libraries & Research for the construction of Model Digital Library.

He said out of the total project cost of Rs 3 crores, Rs 1 crore has been earmarked under UT Capex Budget for the construction of the library building during the current fiscal, out of which first instalment of Rs 50 lakhs has been already released to the project executing agency PWD (R&B) Division Baramulla. He said around Rs 90 lakhs are being provided by RRRLF Kolkata for the project and it will be completed within 3 years.

“The high-tech library with state-of-the-art services will come up as a multipurpose facility, equipped with all the facilities considering needs of users in the modern digital era,” he said and added that once the requisite infrastructure is in place, the Library will be linked with the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) through the Department of Libraries & Research, J&K 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 Library will provide quality study and reference material, both hardcopy and in e-format to the students to help them prepare for competitive examinations like NEET/JEE/CAT/IAS/KAS etc. He said the multipurpose library will be also equipped with modern technological facilities including an IT hub and interactive VC facility for online coaching of students for competitive examinations besides there will be separate reading room for children and senior citizens and a general reading room. The library will be also provided with a cafeteria and a conference hall besides other facilities for users.

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 and academic libraries move forward and adapt to new technologies, new communities, new user needs and information behaviours,” he said. He said these libraries would be different from the traditional public libraries by offering both formal and informal spaces for the readers with a variety of IT-enabled facilities.

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