Public library service in the NCT of Delhi: Present and future*
The lecture covers the importance of public library as a “library of the people, for the people and by the people”. Essential features of the Public Library Services have been comprehensively covered. It talks about Modern Public Library System in India and the role that Ranganathan played in its implementation throughout the country starting with the Tamil Nadu state in 1948. The lecture summarizes different scenarios of the public library system in India including State level status, status in the Union Territories, status in the National Capital Region, status in the early period, during Pre-Independence period and present scenario. Prominent privately/municipal corporation funded public libraries have been covered in the chronological order including Marwari Public Library, Hardayal Municipal Public Library, Fatehpuri Muslim Public Library, Ramkrishna Mission Library, centrally funded Delhi Public Library, etc. The author further covers in his lecture the NCT of Delhi Public Library Development Plan, and presents the Public Library Model and emphasizes the need for adoption of a Public Library Legislation with the help of Central Government and discusses its implementation strategy and other aspects. The author strongly suggests the need to implement the proposed development plan through Delhi Public Library System as it has fairly a good networked libraries in the NCT of Delhi. The need to conduct surveys to understand the user population for their reading interests, collections, services, etc. has been discussed to help to effectively implement the public library system. In order to meet the needs of the users effectively, it is necessary that each unit of a public library should be a viable unit and should function as integral part of the locality in a decentralized manner at local level. The author further talks about the role of National Mission on Libraries (NML) for the promotion and development of public library services at different levels in the country. While concluding, the author expressed sincere desire that the DLA should take up necessary steps and formulate an action plan so as to spread the message about the need for a proper public library system in the NCT of Delhi.
Public Library, Public Library Service-Delhi, Public Library System-India, Public Library Law, Library Act, Model Library System, National Mission on Libraries.