Seminar on Revitalizing Public Libraries Through PPP, a Report

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By PSN Murthy and D. Muralidhar

Visakhapatnam: A two day national seminar on  “Revitalizing of Public Libraries through Public-Private Partnership”  with the support of Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India  organized by Society for Promotion of Public Libraries (SPPL), Visakhapatnam and with the cooperation of Zilla Granthalaya Samstha (ZGS), Vizianagaram at National level.

rusen kumar in public libraries seminar in Vizajanagaram Floral tributes were offered along with garlanding of statues of Saraswati and Great Poet, Gurujada on whose name the library was named after him. D. Muralidhar, the Organizing Secretary invited all the dignitaries on to the dais and other delegates, who come from different places of the three districts Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam.

The programme started with lighting of the symbolic lamp by dignitaries on the dais followed by a prayer by Smt. Swarajya Lakshmi, Librarian, Mrs A. V. N. College, Visakhapatnam.

Speaking on the occasion Indukuri Raghu Raju, Chairman, Zilla Granthalaya Samstha (ZGS), Vizianagaram, congratulated Sri PSN Murthy and his team members for arranging the seminar in this region. He welcomed  Dr Velaga Venkatappaiah and  other dignitaries on the dais and all ZGS  and  private library professionals from Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and other library professionals from academic libraries and thanked all of them for attending this seminar.

rusen kumar and public libraries in indiaHe said that a lot of developmental activities have taken place during the tenure of Sri R. Pothana, Ex-Chairman, ZGS,Vizianagaram and now during his tenure nine buildings were constructed for branch libraries, six are under construction and trying to get permission for 12 more library buildings from the Director of Public Libraries, Hyderabad. Around 48,000 books were procured so far and are planning to increase it to one lakh books by procuring the balance books in this year. The Chairman Mr Raju asked the book sellers to give books worth equal to the  discount  offers  along with the books ordered so that they will reach their objective of one lakh book collection which he proudly announced in the seminar.

He also said that they are trying to get funds from public representatives to provide Internet facility in public libraries. Also, arrange book deposit centers, Internet facilities with the public partnership and to bring the activities  to move forward, the venue of this seminar is a right place and it is advantage since the objectives, suggestions of the seminar are very useful to them in strengthening future activities.

Dr. Velaga Venkatappaiah, the doyen of Andhra Pradesh library movement, released the Souvenir; and while speaking on the occasion, described the objectives of the seminar and remembered the services rendered by the for library movement and. The public private partnership for development of public libraries is a topic included in National Knowledge Commission and recognized its importance by Government of India. He also expressed his grief that even though the Public Libraries Act was introduced in 1948 and planning to establish libraries in 1000 villages, the library Cess collected was not properly remitted to Zilla Granthalaya Samsthas due to negligence of the Commissoners of the Muncipal Corporations and Town Municipalities of the State Government.

He said that general public will certainly help public libraries, which need not depend on Library Cess. He pointed out that the libraries in Britain and some European countries are flourishing with the generous support of the public. The children will not aspire for the property of parents and the parents donate their property for the public use in their old age, hence public library system is progressing in those countries. We can try to take measures in diverting the funds from public representatives – MLA’s, MP’s and maintain good relations with NRI’s in the villages. Also, to get funds from RRRLF and also possibility to celebrate golden Jubilee, Silver Jubilee functions with RRRLF funds etc. The state of Kerala is a good example of this model of utilization of public funds for libraries from the RRRLF.

He appreciated the services of PSN Murthy who has done many activities in Visakhapatnam under CSR policy successfully while promoting the concept of CSR to the public in the society. It is reported that in India the GMR group, Wipro, Infosys and other corporate spend 2% of their profits as donations to libraries; and in foreign countries, Bill Gates, CEO, Microsoft donated 99% of their profits, Warren Buffet 90% of their profits were used for public use.

He felt that these allotments won’t come under donations, but it is only for the welfare of the Society. “God has given us hands not for taking but for giving also, one has to think that all employees are wealthy people than other sectors in the Society”,  hence he requested that they can spend some amount for the Society. From 1986 onwards, not even a single new branch library has been established so far, hence we have to bring pressure on the Govt. from all sections of the Society. There is a saying that “any group that cannot demands their rights will not survive” and hence we have to fight the Government for the development of public libraries.

The energies that are inherent in ZGS employees are to be brought out completely for the development of public libraries and all the employees whatever they earn and eat food, they will not forget in each bit of rice that they eat, their library names are written and they have to do their responsibilities and duties in a proper way.

PSN Murthy, President, SPPL and  Convenor of the seminar while speaking on the occasion explained the objectives  and need of the seminar.  He was detailed about the  personal experiences of Corporate  Social  Responsibility  activities towards Public libraries and School libraries  and their success in Visakhapatnam while he was working in  Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.  Based on his experience at Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, he felt that  CSR can be a boon to public libraries if they embrace the concept and look for support from their  neighbouring corporate firms and PSUs .There are many examples of successful projects taken up under CSR.  We should remember that the Govt. of India through National Knowledge Commission (NKC) had also acknowledge benefits of Public-Private-Partnership model of development at grass root level.  He  thanked all the  staff who cooperated for the last one month for all the activities done during this period connected with the two days  seminar in Vizianagaram.

Rusen Kumar, Director & Editor, IndiaCSR and CSR & Competitiveness (Monthly Magazine on CSR,  delevering key note address of the to-days national seminar, thanked the society (SPPL) for doing so many activities on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the objectives of the seminar will help to a great extent in the development of the country at national level.

It is the need of the hour to bring awareness among the public on CSR and also work out  to bring comprehensive idea about CSR to the people in this platform. The libraries are very useful for  develop  ordinary people to become extra-ordinary people, to give information to the right person in right time and try to  create interest on reading habits, to create special interest on reading habits of school children and try to create small libraries in their houses to improve reading and  try to take initiative to establish libraries in each village through CSR provision.  He expressed his  grief over the allotment of very meagre percent of  funds to public libraries from the amount of  Rs.22,000 crore spending on  CSR funds all over India. Full Text of his article available in the Seminar Volume.

Dr A. Gopala Rao, Member, Adhikara Basha Sangam while speaking on the occasion quoted Granthalaya Vedam noted by Sri Chilakamarthi Lakshmi Narasimham. How air is available freely to all people, the information is also required to made available to all the readers. Remembered the services rendered by Sri Jayanthi Rama Lakshmana Murthy in Vizianagaram district and requested all people to  speak in Telugu language  and bring Telugu language in to limelight for its development.

R.V.Gopala Rao, Vice-president, SPPL appreciated the services rendered by the dignitaries on the dias and thanked the orgnizers of the seminar.

First Session :
A. Ramakrishana Rao presided over the first Tchnical Session:
The speakers Professor K. C. Das, Utkal University on “CSR concept and Pavluri Srinivasa Rao, Chief Librarian, Dr. ANR College, Gudiwada on Public Private Partnership in Libraries” presented their papers in the Session  to the delegates.

Second Session:            
D. Pari Naidu presided over the second technical session:
LV Chandra Sekhara Rao, Librarian, MR PG College presented his paper on “Reading Habits”.

The days session closed with vote of thanks by K. Pothu Raju. ZGS, Vizianagaram.

Third Session:   9 Feb
On the second day 9th Feb 2014, the first session was started with R.V. Gopala Rao, Vice-President, SPPL  as Chairperson. Speakers are K. Rama Appa Rao, Hon. Secretary, Gowri  Granthalayam, Anakapalle and V. Bhaskar Srinivas, Head–Liaison, Shreeram Transport Finance Corporation Ltd., Visakhapatnam.

K. Rama Appa Rao speaking on the occasion described the events conducted in their libraries like competitions for the students, computer classes and national events etc. for the benefit of students every year regularly. The source of funding is from the merchants association for running their libraries since its inception 1947 and can do better with local public partnership for providing better services besides availability of funds from RRRLF, Kolkata.

V. Bhaskar Srinivas explained different attitudes and behavior of different people come across in the events conducted on different occasions. Positive thinking with change of attitude is the criteria in doing any kind of activity successfully. He is appraised the SPPL activities and conducting the seminar for development of public libraries is one such event and made a grand success with mobilization of  librarians in the 3 districts. He stressed the Support of CSR, which  is needed from corporate and other sectors for the development of public libraries.

The session was closed with vote of thanks byD. Gopla Rao, Librarian, Branch Library (ZCS), Srikakulam.

The valedictory session was started at 12 P.M. after tea break.

9th February 2014 : Valedictory session

This Session was presided over by Sri PSN Murty, President, SPP and Honourable MP of Vizianagaram Dr Botsa Jhansi Lakshmi was the Chief Guest.

In her Valedictory address the Chief Guest Hon’ble M.P of Vizianagaram Smt Dr. Botsa Jhanshi Lakshmi said that it is the responsibility of each one of us to develop Public Libraries since they play a vital role in the development of Knowledge Society.  At the closing ceremony, she promised to always extend any sort of help for the development of Public Libraries. She had promised to release funds for Mobile libraries if a proposal is made and sent to her. She also promised to extend help for branch libraries in Vizianagaram and for the construction of buildings for public libraries in Vizianagaram. She also advised the library professionals to take help from the corporate firms for the development of public libraries under CSR provisions. She expressed her interest in donating books in national language along with other books to the libraries.

MVS Sarma, MLC said that he had granted seven lakhs for library buildings for public libraries and he promised to help for the development of public libraries. He is trying in getting the Govt. GO No 010 for release of salaries to the ZGS employees directly which is very much  important for the welfare of the ZGS employees. He requested Dr.Velaga Venkatappaiah to write a letter to the Government to include Public Libraries in the expenditure of the Constitution Development Fund.

PSN Murthy, while giving his Presidential address  awareness should be created among library professionals, students, teachers, parents and public representatives to develop public libraries under Public-Private-Partnership with the help of Corporates, private sectors, business people, NRI etc. Concerned Librarian should initiate for meetings of the above persons from time to time and inform the services in the library and what services is to be taken in future for development of library systems. So that people may be knowing the services of  the library and their future activities. This will create good atmosphere among users.  He requested Chairman, ZGS, Vizianagaram to develop 5 or 6 Role Model Libraries in the District.  The SPPL will come forward to give any help for development of those libraries and also promised to help for digitization of all the books in branch libraries in  the district.

He announced in the august gathering A. Ramakrishna Rao, Ex-Director, Dooradharsan has kindly accepted to donate 10 computers to tribal areas of branch libraries in ZGS, Vizianagaram. The Organizing Committee and Chief Guests thanked Sri A. Ramakrishna Rao for his kind gesture in donating computers to public libraries for access information through Internet.

The seminar ended with a Vote of Thanks by Sri. B. Ramabhadra Raju, President, ZGS Employees Union, Vizianagaram.

RECOMMENDATIONS :

Two day seminar on “Revitalizing Public Libraries through Public-Private Partnership” at Gurujada Smaraka Kendra Granthalayam on 8th – 9th, February 2014.

1.      It is resolved to establish new Public and NGO managed libraries in  Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and  Visakhapatnam districts the support of CSR Funds
2.      It is resolved to get funds from public representatives Smt Dr. Botsa Janshi Lakshmi, Hon’ble MP and Sri MVS Sarma, MLC, Ministers   and  others for the  construction of  new buildings and other infrastructure facilities.
3.      It is resolved that to appreciate the efforts of the Chairman, Zilla Granthalaya Samstha (ZGS),Vizianagaram to procure book collection to increase up to one lakh in the District Central Library, Vizianagaram  in the year 2014.
4.      It is resolved to use CSR funds for the development of  Public libraries in three coastal districts.
5.      It is resolved to put computers and internet in the public and private libraries.
6.      It is resolved to establish Modal public libraries at the Vizianagaram District with the support of CSR from Corporates and other Donars in the lines of Hitech Library, Bangalore.
7.      It is resolved that SPPL jointly with ZGS, Srikakulam to conduct one
seminar on      Utilization of  CSR Resources in the Srikakulam.
8.      The Seminar requested the Government of Andhra Pradesh to include the Public Libraries while utilizing the Constitution Development Fund, Dr Velaga Venkatappaiah is requested to prepare a Note in this regard and submit it to the Government and Sri MVS Sarma, MLC with a request to pursue the matter.
9.      The SPPL extends its whole hearted Thanks to the RRRLF for providing Financial Assistance and Sri Indukuri Raghu Raju, Chairman, Zilla Granthalaya Samstha, Vizianagaram for giving full support in making the Seminar a Grand Success.

PSN Murthy, President of the Seminar  & President, SPPL, Visakhapatnam & D. Muralidhar, Organising Secretary National seminar, and Secretary, SPPL, VSP      


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