Libraries are the "People Universites"! Librarians are the "Kingmakers" !

J.Jeba Joselin 
"Once a rich man planned to make a garden with all high breeding fruits and flowers. He appointed some hard working labourers for creating and maintaining the garden. When they created the beautiful garden they started maintaining the garden properly. One day the rich man came to visit the garden and asked the workers "where is the fruits and flowers ?". Since the garden work has been completed just few days before, the workers were shocked by his question." 
      The rich man is the government , the garden is the public library and the workers are the librarians. This is the current scenario of the public libraries and the staff working there. This misunderstanding starts with the decision making authorities.

Atfirst, in most of the states heads of the library department are not library professionals.

Secondly, the decision making authorities don't consider the investment for the libraries as a long time profit. Now a days governments indirectly feels the investment for the libraries as waste of money. So they dont consider building new libraries, developing existing infrastructures and the benifits of staff working in public libraries.

Thirdly, the governments don't encourage the public to use the libraries, though huge amount is collected from the public as library cess. Public are also not aware of their right to use the library.

What the government(s) should do ?

These are my humble sugestions the government may consider.

1.Government should understand the basic thing "An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest" as the Benjamin Franklin said. Investment in public libraries will really bring out healthy citizens.

2.Government should increase the number of public libraries and should renovate and maintain the existing infrastructures effectively.

3.The qualifications and remunerations for the staff working in public libraries should be standardised through out the country.

4.All public libraries should be digitalised and modernised aspar with the latest ICTs.

5.Public library staff should be informed and trained in latest technological advances.

6.All public library setups through out the nation should be integrated and centralised. A strong national level public library network should be formed, like National Library - State Central Libraries - District Central Libraries- Branch Libraries - Village Libraries etc.,Though now a days this same set up is existing but every state has its own type of administration and library rules. This causes "information inequality".States like kerala, karnataka have very good public library set up, but other states lack the same.

 7.Financially too the libraries should be networked nationally, at present huge amount is collected from public as library cess but management of the fund is not efficient in many states. Some time the governments use the library cess for the other purposes, they think libraries dont need this much of amount. So a strong centralised financial control and effective fund management should be formed. For that all Local Library Authorities (LLAs) should be centralised.

8.Government should frame rules for a standard rules for the qualification, remuneration and promotion of public library staff through out the country.

9.Last but not least "with out public there is no public library" so governments should create awareness among the public about the public libraries, for that the our public libraries should be made attractive. Extension services should be made compulsary for all libraries.

Dear LIS friends, If you have more points than the above said things, kindly post them in the comment field. This may helpful to revive the public library system in our country. 

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