Principal Secretary Culture inaugurates Border Block Library Sogam

SOGAM (KUPWARA), JULY 5: J&K’s Libraries Department has embarked on a comprehensive action plan to extend and broaden the reach of gainful Public Library facilities across the UT so that the readers, especially in remote areas, have access to quality sources of knowledge not hither-to open to them.
This was stated by Principal Secretary Department of Culture, Suresh Kumar Gupta, while addressing a gathering after inaugurating the refurbished Border Block Library in Sogam area of district Kupwara last evening.
Member DDC Kupwara, Nasir Nazir Lone; Director, Libraries & Research, J&K, Mohammad Rafi; Additional Deputy Commissioner Handwara, Aziz Ahmad; Additional Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Mohammad Rouf Rehman; SDM Lolab, Javed Naseem Masoodi and other officers of the District Administration and Libraries Department were present on the occasion.
“As a part of the plan to upgrade Public Library facilities across J&K, the Department of Libraries has kick-started construction, expansion and renovation of library buildings in various parts of the UT including border areas to make quality learning resources available to people in these remote areas at their doorstep,” Suresh Gupta said.
Principal Secretary complimented the Department of Libraries & Research and the District Administrations for working in tandem to ensure best possible infrastructure facilities in Public Libraries.
Suresh Gupta hailed the sustained efforts made by the Department of Libraries & Research during the past 3 years towards repositioning and reinventing the public libraries in J&K through various innovative and technological interventions. “It is heartening to note that the Libraries Department has of late introduced some pioneering measures to give a refreshing look to the libraries in the UT and make them lively literary places for people from different sections of the society,” he said and called for extensive technological interventions in libraries including automation, e-cataloguing and e-circulation to make them more user-friendly.
Principal Secretary commended the efforts of the Department of Libraries & Research in rejuvenating the institution of Public Libraries despite lot of resource constraints.
Speaking on the occasion, Director, Libraries & Research, Mohammad Rafi enumerated various measures taken by the Department during the past 3 years to reinvent the role of public libraries in J&K by offering Career Guidance and Information Services to the youth. “We have embarked on a program to build the requisite infrastructure in the public libraries especially pertaining to youth needs with the focus on e-resources,” he said and added that to begin with quality reference material and prestigious journals/magazines have been provided in various public libraries to help students prepare for various competitive examinations. This, he said, has proved to be a value-addition to the already mandated responsibilities of the public libraries as this initiative has resulted in huge increase in the footfall in public libraries.
“Today Reading Halls of most of our libraries remain jam-packed for the whole day as a large number of students regularly visit these libraries to take advantage of the free learning resources available for various competitive examinations,” he said and added there is still a lot of scope for further improvement in this vital social sector especially on the infrastructure front as most of the libraries in J&K are lacking in basic facilities like furniture & furnishing, drinking water, separate toilets for ladies and the requisite IT infrastructure.
The Director Libraries & Research expressed gratitude to Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Ayushi Sudan for taking personal interest in the development of library infrastructure in District Kupwara.
Member DDC Kupwara, Nasir Nazir Lone and Additional Deputy Commissioner Kupwara, Mohammad Rouf Rehman also addressed the gathering.

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