Srinagar, Aug 6: Director Libraries and Research Muhammad Rafi Friday conducted surprise inspection of various public libraries in district Budgam to take stock of the facilities available there.
An official spokesman in a statement issued here said that the director called for making available the latest reference books and study material in all the public libraries for various competitive examinations including IAS, JKAS, NEET, JEE, CAT, CLAT, GMAT, and SSB.
He urged the aspirants to visit the nearest public library in their respective areas to benefit from these important references.
The director said that given the overwhelming demand by the students, the libraries department has, on the recommendation of the UT-Level Library Advisory-cum-Purchase Committee (UTLLAPC) this year made available around 350 titles of free reference books and study material in its libraries to help students, especially those who cannot afford to purchase such costly material, study and prepare for various competitive examinations.
During his visit to the public library at BaghiMehtab, the director interacted with the students present there and sought their inputs for further improving the facilities at the public libraries to the best advantage of the users.
He informed the students that besides making available the reference books and study material for competitive examinations, the Department of Libraries and Research was also in the process of tying up with some prestigious coaching academies in the country to arrange free online coaching for J&K youth for these examinations.
During his visit to the District Library Budgam, the director reviewed the progress of work on up-gradation of the library by way of construction of additional accommodation comprising a spacious reading hall, separate washrooms for women and men and a store.
The estimated cost of these works is around Rs 30.20 lakh.
He urged the executing agency - R&B Division Budgam - to expedite the construction work so that the library was ready at the earliest for functioning as a full-fledged e-Learning-cum-Career Counselling Center in pursuance to the instructions issued by the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for digitally transforming the public libraries in J&K and reposition them as multipurpose facilities, providing varied services considering the needs of users, especially the youth.
He said that this novel project was aimed at rediscovering how the public libraries move forward and adapt to new technologies, new communities, new user-needs and information behaviours to play a productive role in youth development.
“The initiative will also help in creating a better interface between the intellectual, technological and physical infrastructure in these libraries,” he said.
During his visit to Tehsil Library Chadoora, the director called for identifying a suitable alternate accommodation for relocating the library.
He said that the Deputy Commissioner Budgam would be requested to provide some unutilised government building in the area to the Department of Libraries for shifting Tehsil Library Chadoora there.
During his visit to Tehsil Library Chrar-e-Sharief, the director reviewed the progress of work on upgradation of the library building by way of construction of additional accommodation.
He urged the executing agency, Chrar-e-Sharief Project Development Authority to complete the leftover works at the earliest so that the library was made fully functional for the users.
The Department of Libraries and Research has a network of 130 public libraries spread across J&K.
These include four central libraries, 12 district libraries, 50 tehsil libraries, seven block libraries, 36 border block libraries, seven shrine libraries, eight lending depots and six reading rooms.