NASSCOM to transform public libraries in India

FC3FccOI.pngNASSCOM Foundation has announced the launch of the Indian Public Library Movement (IPLM), an effort to revitalise and transform public libraries into inclusive knowledge and information centres catering to the information needs of communities across India. Indian public libraries can make the benefits of technology accessible to millions of Indians who do not currently have access to computers and the Internet, and provide training on how to use technology to access information that improves lives, a statement issued by NASSCOM said.  Speaking at the launch, Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman, NASSCOM Foundation, said, “”The Indian Public Library Movement will draw strength from the presence of a strong public library network in India, the committed leadership demonstrated by partners, and the ongoing support for public access to technology through the Government’s Digital India initiative.””

The IPLM seeks to change the landscape of public libraries and the services they provide to the country’s billion-plus citizens. The movement will start by reaching out to a million library users at 300 district-level libraries and proving them with community driven services such as computer training classes to build digital skills, access to online information about agriculture and health, a safe place for students to study, and learning opportunities for people of all ages.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided support for a pilot project for modernization of 7 government public libraries in the State of UP.  Based on the positive outcomes of the pilot project, the state government will now participate in the Scale Up Program, to be implemented by the Indian Public Library Movement/ NASSCOM Foundation. 16 Government Public Libraries of the state will be covered under the Scale Up Program including 7 Libraries covered under Pilot Phase. State Government has signed an MOU with IPLM for the smooth implementation of the Scale Up Program. We hope that this association will definitely benefit the Public library services of the state, the statement said. With a grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation IPLM implementation, NASSCOM Foundation will have an independent team of professionals, the IPLM Secretariat, to manage all programmatic activities. The Secretariat will work to strengthen the library sector in India through increased collaborative work and support from the government (national, state and local level) as well as non-government stakeholders (NGOs and corporations through their CSR initiatives), among other like-minded organizations.

The IPLM team has partnered with DELNET to host the The India Public Libraries Conference. DELNET, with the prime objective of promoting resource sharing among the libraries through the development of a network of libraries, aims to collect, store, and disseminate information besides offering computerised services to users, to coordinate efforts for suitable collection development and also to reduce unnecessary duplication wherever possible.”

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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