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Call to strengthen library movement in State

By The Assam Tribune

GUWAHATI, May 24 - The Assam Library Association (ALA) observed Public Library Day at the Satyanath Bora Hall on May 22 to mark the 244th birth anniversary of Raja Rammohan Roy, said a press release here today.

On the occasion ALA invited Dr Bhupen Deka, retired professor of Gauhati Medical College as well as a social worker, and Kanak Ch Sharma, noted writer and retired government administrator to speak and share their experiences on the topic �Expectation of Readers from the Public Library Services�. The meeting was chaired by Prof (retd) Alaka Buragohain, president of ALA and attended by a group of library professionals. Dhiman Seal, general secretary of ALA threw light on the life and social works of the great social reformer Raja Rammohan Roy.

Initiating the discussion, Prof Buragohain pointed out the role of the public library in creating an educated and enlightened society. She also stated that the present society has been suffering from various ill practices like use of drugs and alcohol, bringing chaos to society, excessive use of mobile phone, social networking, internet, etc., especially among the youths. As one of the alternative means in order to make people free from these habits, the habit of reading can be created by setting up public libraries in the villages. She said it was high time for the library associations and socially conscious people to come forward and start organising awareness programmes and a movement of book reading to eradicate such practices from society.

She also mentioned the Assam Public Libraries and Information Service Bill submitted to the Govt of Assam, which has been lying pending since 2008 and hoped that the new government would take the matter seriously for its early implementation.

The first speaker of the discussion Dr Bhupen Deka shared his experiences of visiting various public libraries. He said public libraries should have some system through which availability of a particular title could be ascertained immediately. He also pointed out that costly valuable books should be selected for the public libraries for the general people, digitisation of rare and important books and development of a website through which availability of books in different libraries can be known using Internet.

Dr Deka also voiced his concern over various bad habits among the youths of the villages and suggested holding of awareness programmes for them. The awareness programmes should highlight how the mental and physical health of the young people could be improved through the habit of reading, he said.

The second speaker Kanak Ch Sharma paid tribute to Raja Rammohan Roy and highlighted various contributions made by him towards society. He said the library movement in Assam in the pre-Independence period was started by the Satra Sanmilan in 1916-17 for creating a reading environment in the villages, adding that the common masses, including students of that time had participated in activities for building village libraries. He pointed out that the library movement in Assam under the leadership of Kumudeshwar Barthakur starting from 1938, continued growing till the 1960s, and then gradually started diminishing from 1970 onwards.

Sharma asked the Library Association and library loving people to join hands to unite and put forward the library movement to retain the glory of the past and suggested that readers, writers, publishers and librarians should act as a united force to lead the movement forward.

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Call to strengthen library movement in State

GUWAHATI, May 24 - The Assam Library Association (ALA) observed Public Library Day at the Satyanath Bora Hall on May 22 to mark the 244th birth anniversary of Raja Rammohan Roy, said a press release here today.

On the occasion ALA invited Dr Bhupen Deka, retired professor of Gauhati Medical College as well as a social worker, and Kanak Ch Sharma, noted writer and retired government administrator to speak and share their experiences on the topic �Expectation of Readers from the Public Library Services�. The meeting was chaired by Prof (retd) Alaka Buragohain, president of ALA and attended by a group of library professionals. Dhiman Seal, general secretary of ALA threw light on the life and social works of the great social reformer Raja Rammohan Roy.

Initiating the discussion, Prof Buragohain pointed out the role of the public library in creating an educated and enlightened society. She also stated that the present society has been suffering from various ill practices like use of drugs and alcohol, bringing chaos to society, excessive use of mobile phone, social networking, internet, etc., especially among the youths. As one of the alternative means in order to make people free from these habits, the habit of reading can be created by setting up public libraries in the villages. She said it was high time for the library associations and socially conscious people to come forward and start organising awareness programmes and a movement of book reading to eradicate such practices from society.

She also mentioned the Assam Public Libraries and Information Service Bill submitted to the Govt of Assam, which has been lying pending since 2008 and hoped that the new government would take the matter seriously for its early implementation.

The first speaker of the discussion Dr Bhupen Deka shared his experiences of visiting various public libraries. He said public libraries should have some system through which availability of a particular title could be ascertained immediately. He also pointed out that costly valuable books should be selected for the public libraries for the general people, digitisation of rare and important books and development of a website through which availability of books in different libraries can be known using Internet.

Dr Deka also voiced his concern over various bad habits among the youths of the villages and suggested holding of awareness programmes for them. The awareness programmes should highlight how the mental and physical health of the young people could be improved through the habit of reading, he said.

The second speaker Kanak Ch Sharma paid tribute to Raja Rammohan Roy and highlighted various contributions made by him towards society. He said the library movement in Assam in the pre-Independence period was started by the Satra Sanmilan in 1916-17 for creating a reading environment in the villages, adding that the common masses, including students of that time had participated in activities for building village libraries. He pointed out that the library movement in Assam under the leadership of Kumudeshwar Barthakur starting from 1938, continued growing till the 1960s, and then gradually started diminishing from 1970 onwards.

Sharma asked the Library Association and library loving people to join hands to unite and put forward the library movement to retain the glory of the past and suggested that readers, writers, publishers and librarians should act as a united force to lead the movement forward.