The role of library in enlightening society
Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed writes for DOT :
A library serves as the best source of knowledge both for students and teachers. The library caters to the taste of different people.
Recognizing the cultural importance of sharing, Mahatma Gandhi once said, “no culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.” There was a time when the doctors used to go to the house of patients. Now it is the reverse. Patients stand in cue for treatment. Books do not go to the reader. The readers look for books. Once upon a time, books were available in every house of educated people. Now this is rare.
There are as many as 71 government libraries. This is in average one people against twenty two thousand people. There are 1200 registered non-government libraries. We also have 400 non-registered libraries. Now the ratio is 1:16 lacs, but the international standard is around 1600 to 1700. To satisfy the standard and to meet our demand we must have one lac of libraries.
In our country, a social movement and renaissance is yet to be established to accept the Bishwaya Sahittya Kendro. With a vision to make a man enlightened, Prof. Abdullah Abu Syed started the movement in 1978. In every district its branches are functioning. In his old days, still he is struggling to increase the enlighten man, and intellectual society. This is indeed a good mission. He not only restricts his idea to it but also he had his initiative for mobile library. The main purpose of these initiatives is to make an enlighten nation.
There are four major types of libraries: academic libraries serve colleges and universities. Public libraries serve cities and towns of all types. School libraries serve students from kindergarten to grade 1. There are special libraries which are used for specialized environments, such as hospitals, corporations, museums, the military, private business and the government. Over the last decades, scientific progress has inspired not only major technological but most of the social and cultural changes as well. It could be characterized by the rapid growth of the amount and variety of information, development of the conception of information as a commodity, formation of knowledge and information industry, development of the information and communication technology, the impact of information and its technologies on all spheres of life including the nature of learning and work as well as on the style of everyday life.
Today, libraries are not only about lending books. They are creative spaces, not only for individuals, but also for teams. In future, some technologies may be used for the betterment of the readers such as – library bookmark and guide, augmented reality app, book delivery drone, Digital interface for print books, mobile library center, Access to library via commonly used app etc.
As gateways to knowledge and culture, libraries play a fundamental role in society. The resources and services they offer create opportunities for bearing support literacy and education and help shape the new ideas and perspectives that are central to a creative and innovative society. They also help ensure an authentic record of knowledge created and accumulated by past generations. In addition to lending books, libraries are also involved in copying materials for research or private study purposes. Students cannot afford to buy every book, or pay for every television broadcast or journal they need to access for their studies. They therefore rely on the services of a library. The writer is a former Deputy Director General and Commandant, Ansar VDP Academy