The new model of Public Library presented at Festival of Libraries 2023 (5-6 August 2023 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi), is going to transform the way, we read and engage with libraries. In tune with the implementation aspects of the Budget announcement, the central government recently announced rollout plan for setting up public library at every village and in every municipal ward. Government is also releasing a fund of Rupees four lakh rupees per library.
During the ongoing Festival of Libraries 2023, the book promotion body of the government, National Book Trust India unveiled the model of the library as per guidelines issued by the government. Aptly named as Gyan Samvaad Kendra, the library has come up with a fresh approach of two-way exchange of ideas where the locals are also encouraged to share their knowledge repository as part of creating the intellectual heritage of the nation. The Library has a unique design element which encourages a mother and a child to read together at the library. It also provisions for ergonomically designed colorful furniture and a refreshing ambience with natural light and a sense of belongingness with portrayal of stories of local heroes, folklores, and art forms incorporated in the design. It is also well-equipped with the technology aspects where there are dedicated sets for audio-books, e-books, and the cutting-edge technology of books in virtual reality, which was till recently used only for gaming purpose.
For a serious reader, there are dedicated Sections of online interactive classes as well as books on career guidance, entrepreneurship, agriculture marketing, reference material for competitive exams, etc. The children’s section has a huge collection of books designed in local languages and dialects – highlighting local customs as well as combining universal content – packaged in colourful covers with beautiful and eye-catching illustrations.
Another zone of much attraction is the Section written by the first batch of young authors mentored under Prime Minister’s YUVA scheme by NBT-India. Some of these authors were present at the Model Library set-up at FoL 2023, and they interacted with the young, inspiring children to be the next generation of writers.
Another Section of attraction is the recently launched series of publications under Intellectual Heritage programme of the Government as well books on Indian Knowledge System. Another section on Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat showcases the best of Indian literature translated into other Indian languages NBT-India is also extending consultancy support to the States for setting-up of public libraries under the Project which includes design to implementations well as training. Many States have expressed their desire to collaborate and sign an MoU with NBT-India. During the festival, NBT India released a curated collection of books for each State as Panchayat Pustkalaya Catalogue, as well as a white paper on setting up public libraries in villages and municipal wards. Speaking on the occasion, Director National Book Trust India asked the young generation to read more and invited them to write for NBT India, under PM-YUVA mentorship programme.
On this occasion, the renowned author Manjari Prabhu signed copies of her book ‘Mystery of Rampur Raza Library’, published by National Book Trust India and released by Hon’ble President of India.
The Model Public Library was visited by many dignitaries, policy makers, librarians, and other key stakeholders, including Ms Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for Culture, Govt. of India, and Shri Ranoj Pegu, Minister of Higher Education, School Education & Tribal Affairs, Govt. of Assam, among others.