The Workstation and Workshop were jointly inaugurated by Director Libraries & Research, Khalid Bashir Ahmad and noted writer and scholar, Nilambardev Sharma. Technical Director NIC Hqrs, R. K. Matoria, Technical Director NIC, J&K Unit, Salim Khan, Librarian, Dhanvantri Library, University of Jammu, Muhammad Shoiab, Members of State Level Library Committee and State Level Advisory cum Purchase Committee including Dr. Lalit Mangotra, Dr Jatinder Udhampuri, O. P. Sharma Vidhyarthi, Dr. Reva Sharma, Deputy Director Libraries, Rajinder Singh, prominent writers and intellectuals were present.
. Matoria made a power point presentation on e-Granthalaya and the project. He also answered queries from the audience.
The automation and networking project is being executed through NIC and in the pilot phase, costing Rs. 116.72 lakhs, four major public libraries including SRS Central Library, Jammu have been taken up for automation and networking.
During the workshop, a group of officials of the Department of Libraries and Research and the manpower hired by the project executing agency would be trained in the use of e-Granthalaya software before actually starting data entry as part of the project implementation which will begin immediately after the conclusion of the workshop.
Speaking on the occasion, Khalid Bashir Ahmad said that the launching of the automation and networking of public libraries is a significant initiative taken by the Government to switch over from manual to automated library service and making library information available online. He said in the first instance four major public libraries including SRS Central Library, SPS central Library, Oriental Research Library and City Central Library have been taken up for automation and networking. On successful completion of the pilot phase, other libraries at district and tehsil level and down would be automated and made part of a single networking system. He said the Department is working on another important project to digitize its rich collection of rare books in various languages and make them available on Internet along with a huge treasure of about 6000 digitized manuscripts. The two projects in conjuncture would revolutionize public library services in the State, he added.
Khalid also gave a brief account of other recent initiatives taken by the Department to improve library services both in terms of infrastructure and collection. He said in the next few years the library services in the State would be reckoned with international standards. He made a special mention of books on competitive examinations made available this year for student community interested in cracking civil services examinations. He said as many as 100 titles on different subjects prescribed for these examinations have been supplied to central, district and tehsil libraries. Before the closure of the current financial year, libraries at block and border block levels will also be provided these books, he said.
Writers and library lovers who were present at today’s function hailed the initiative of the Department of Libraries to automate and network public libraries in J&K and said that this would go a long way in improving and upgrading public library services in the State and generate interest among people towards libraries.