Reyaz Rashid

Baramulla gets its first state-of-the-art smart library at Cariappa Park 

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DL&R J&K sanctions Rs 50 lakh for construction of library

Baramulla: The long-pending demand of the people of Baramulla is finally being fulfilled as the Department of Libraries and Research (DL&R) J&K is going to establish a state-of-the-art smart library in the town.

The department has transferred Rs 50.00 Lakhs for construction of the Model District Library at Cariappa Park, Baramulla to Superintendent Engineer Baramulla PWD (R&B) district.

The Department of Libraries, J&K and Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Kolkatta will be constructing a first-of-its-kind Model Library in J&K at Cariappa Park Baramulla at a cost of around Rs 3 Crore.

A fund transfer letter addressed to Superintendent Engineer Baramulla  PWD (R&B) district for taking up construction work of the smart library (copy of which was accessed by Kashmir Images reads) reads, “it is informed that funds to the tune of 50.00 Lakhs for construction of Model Library at Cariappa Park, Baramulla have been transferred to your office and placed at your disposal for the said purpose vide BEAMS Order no: 31/Capex/Transfer/STSEDUO025/DDO-BE/2021-2022/6/5 dated: 14-06-2021.

The letter further informed that the Administrative Approval for the construction of Model District Library Baramulla has been conveyed vide Directorate of Libraries & Research Order No: 13- DL of 2021 dated: 10-06-2021 to the extent of Rs 288.96 Lakhs as per the approved DPR.

“The District Administration Baramulla has already conveyed to this office that the State land measuring 02 Kanals and 12 Marlas under Khasra No: 141 near Cariappa Park Baramulla has been identified and put at the disposal of the Department of Libraries & Research, J&K for the construction of Model District Library Baramulla, in the larger public interest,” the letter reads.

The letter urged the R&B department to start the construction of Model District Library Baramulla at Cariappa Park at an earliest with intimation to the office, the letter said

Confirming the development to Kashmir Images, Director Libraries & Research, Muhammad Rafi, said that the department embarked on massive infrastructure upgradation of libraries including automation and digitization.

“The Department sanctioned Rs 3 crore for construction of Model Library at Baramulla under National Mission on Libraries (NML) and the department has released Rs. 50 Lakh to the R&B Department for immediate execution of the construction works,” Director  Libraries & Research, Muhammad Rafi informed.

“We are trying to bring some positive changes to the Libraries across Jammu and Kashmir. The Department is also establishing IT Hubs to facilitate the readers. It will be a hi-tech library with all the modern facilities including an IT Hub and Interactive LCD display for online coaching. The library will be also provided with a separate reading room for children and senior citizens besides the general reading room beside it will also have a Cafeteria and Conference room besides other facilities,” the Director added.

He said that the library is established in Baramulla to fulfil the long-pending demand of people and cater to the large population of readers including students, senior citizens, women and children.

He said that the smart libraries concept is a part of the project on how to reposition the public libraries in an environment of new social and technological challenges. “This novel project is aimed at rediscovering how the public and academic libraries move forward and adapt to new technologies, new communities, new user needs and information behaviours,” he remarked.

He said these libraries would be different from the traditional public libraries by offering both formal and informal spaces for the readers with a variety of facilities including dedicated areas for students, senior citizens, women and children.

These libraries, he said, will be also provided with WiFi, printing, scanning and photocopy facilities and a cafeteria so that interested people can spend time in a leisurely ambience.

“These libraries will also offer study material, both hardcopy and in e-format to the students for competitive examinations like NEET/JEE/CAT/IAS/KAS etc,” he said.

Senior officials of the Libraries Department, Kashmir said that several ongoing activities including automation and digitization of rare books and manuscripts, would give a “new face” to the Department of Libraries in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pertinently, Baramulla has a district library in a congested vegetable market where readers face a lot of inconveniences and Criapa Park has a library which was later taken over by police and developed as a police public library.

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