Reading community in this south Kashmir district on December 14th 2010 had something really to cheer about- the inauguration of the two-storied spacious and modern district library building with a collection of over 16,000 titles, a large reading room and a rich assortment of 3500 reference books. A separate Children Section with story books, toys, DVD player and a computer set makes an added attraction for young children now to visit the new library complex. The new complex is a literal transformation from a two-room cramped and dark rented accommodation housing the library till yesterday.
Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora, accompanied by Minister of State for Housing & Urban Development, Revenue, Tourism and Culture, Mr. Nasir Aslam Wani, inaugurated the new building, first such district level facility in Kashmir in terms of infrastructure and collection. Director Libraries & Research, Mr. Khalid Bashir Ahmad was present and briefed the two ministers about the new library complex and facilities made available to the visitors.
The ministers appreciated the efforts of the Department of Libraries & Research in providing excellent library facility, both in terms of infrastructure and collection, to the people of Pulwama that, they said, would serve as a bench mark for other districts of the State. Mr. Jora said that people generally having gone away from book reading, facilities like these would bring them back to libraries. He said the government was keen to upgrade public libraries in the State and has taken many steps towards this end.
The automation of libraries, he said, was one of such measures being taken. He said the project would be implemented in phases and in the Pilot Project four main libraries are being taken up this financial year. He said, adding new titles to libraries was a continuous effort and only last month about 600 new titles were purchased while orders for another 400 have been placed. He called upon people in general and youth in particular to avail these facilities, urging them to make book reading a habbit.
Mr. Nasir Aslam Wani, highlighting the importance of book reading in character building of a nation, said that it has been one of the oldest human activities which enriches a reader mentally, spiritually and socially. He said Jammu & Kashmir has always been a place of learning and has produced great scholars and writers whose fame has transcended the boundaries of the State. He said the need of the hour was to recreate that atmosphere of learning which can be promoted through book reading. He complimented the Department of Libraries and Research in making its effort to win back readers to the libraries.Mr. Khalid Bashir Ahmad gave a brief account of infrastructure development in the libraries sector and said that construction of a multi-storey central library complex at M. A. Road, Srinagar was apace which, on completion, would meet the modern requirement of a central public library. The project, he said, is estimated to cost Rs. 17.34 crore. He said another double-storied library building in memory of the legendary 17th century Persian poet, Gani Kashmiri has been completed and would be thrown open for public shortly. He said construction of new buildings in Udhampur and Kulgam would be taken up before the culmination of the current financial year.
The new District Library building at Pulwama, Mr. Ahmad said, was completed at a cost of Rs. 72.50 lakhs and comprises General Section, Reference Section, Urdu Section, Children Section, Reading Room, RRRLF Section and Periodical Section. The library collection has been recently supplemented with 362 fresh titles, adding the total number of books available in the library to 16,137, he said, adding that these include as many as 3500 reference books. The District Library Pulwama was established as Tehsil Library in 1976 and upgraded to its present status in 1985.