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Steps taken to develop infra & hire staff for rural libraries

Steps taken to develop infra & hire staff for rural libraries
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KOLKATA: The Bengal government has taken up an initiative to further develop the infrastructure of the libraries in the state, besides recruiting librarians in government-sponsored rural libraries.

A virtual meeting with district library officers and assistant district library officers would be held on June 14. There are basically three agendas for the meeting, including "recruitment to the post of librarian in government sponsored rural library" and "development proposals".

There are at present 12 government libraries, 2,463 government sponsored libraries and seven government aided libraries. Since 2011, the state government has taken up a series of steps to improve the infrastructure of libraries in the state and mainly of those which are situated in the rural parts.

New books were bought spending a few crores of rupees with a manifold increase in the state budget for the sector that was only Rs 14.88 crore in 2010-11 financial year during the Left Front regime. Library grants have been given to 382 schools. The state government had sanctioned a budget of Rs 381.36 crore for Mass Education Extension and Library Services in 2021-22. It was Rs 100 crore in 2020-21 fiscal.

Most importantly, more than 35,000 rare collection books have also been digitised. Despite digitisation, the state government had undertaken an assessment of books that are considered to have got damaged in its 2,481 libraries due to super cyclone Amphan.

Welcoming the state government's decision, Manoj Chakraborty, a member of Trinamool Congress backed Paschimbanga Rajya Sarkari Karmachari Federation, said: "The initiative is expected to create employment opportunities and readers visiting libraries would also get access to a better infrastructure".

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