National Knowledge Commission
हिन्दी বাংলা অসমীয়া অসমীয়া ಕನ್ನಡ
ارد و தமிழ் नेपाली মণিপুরী ଓଡ଼ିଆ ગુજરાતી


7th December 2006

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

Public libraries play a pivotal role in dissemination of knowledge. In your inaugural address for the National Knowledge Commission on 2nd August 2005, you had recognized public libraries as an extremely important element of the foundation of a knowledge economy. Following up from this, the NKC has consulted extensively with diverse stakeholders. As part of this process, we also constituted a Working Group of experts and professionals. Their names are listed at the end of this letter. There is a widespread agreement that there is an urgent need for reform in the Libraries and Information Services (LIS) sector. Several initiatives in this regard have already been taken by the Government. Our recommendations for formulating strategies in the LIS sector are as follows:

1.0 Set up a National Commission on Libraries: A permanent, independent and financially autonomous National Commission on Libraries should be eventually set up by the Central Government as a statutory body to address all the information and learning needs of the citizens of India. To launch the process in mission mode, a National Mission on Libraries should be set up immediately, for a period of three years. The Mission should subsequently be converted into a Permanent Commission. Further details regarding the role of the proposed National Mission/ Commission on Libraries are at Annexure 1.

2.0 Prepare a National Census of all Libraries: A national census of all libraries should be prepared by undertaking a nation-wide survey. Collection of census data on libraries would provide baseline data for planning. The Task Force that has been set up by the Department of Culture for this purpose should be given financial and administrative support to implement this activity and complete the survey on a priority basis (within one year). Survey of user needs and reading habits should be periodic at the national level as part of the National Sample Survey.

3.0 Revamp LIS Education, Training and Research facilities: The proposed Mission/ Commission on Libraries must assess as soon as possible the manpower requirements of the country in the area of LIS management, and take necessary steps to meet the country’s requirement through LIS education and training. To keep the LIS sector abreast of latest developments, necessary encouragement should be given to research after evaluating the research status in this field. Establishing a well equipped institute for advanced training and research in library and information science and services would provide the necessary impetus to this task. Further details regarding the functions and organizational structure of the proposed Institute (Indian Institute of Library and Information Science (ILIS)) are at Annexure 2.




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