Prepared by Nishikanta Sahoo (on behalf of the Public Library Comm. and OSA)
Establish a modern public education platform for access to information, creating opportunities to learn, grow, and empower individuals, and building a stronger community.
In response to Phailin disaster, OSA requests that its donation be used by Govt. Of Odisha(GOO) to build and operate two Model Modern Public Libraries-cum-Community Centers-cum-Cyclone Centers in the Phailin affected area of Berhampur, Balasore/Baripada, where a wider section of the community will be benefitted. The vision is to establish an exemplary socio-economic educational model in Phailin affected area as well as bring Information and Communication Technology(ICT) as a service at grass root level. We believe it would not only create a basic footprint for World Class Public Libraries in Odisha, but also can be an inspirational model to replicate similar Public Libraries at every Block/NAC/District level in other parts of the state by Govt. or private bodies.
The exemplary socio-economic development in North America has been preceded by establishment of excellent Public Library System and Public School System in the early part of last century. OSA envisions Odisha to follow similar model to be at par with any developed country like USA, Canada, etc. Based on OSA members exposure and experience with the public library systems, we believe the proposed Model Modern Public Library System will be an excellent platform for socio-economic development in Odisha.
The following guidelines will be helpful for a successful establishment, operation and sustenance of the Model Public Library.
- Infrastructure Support: The Govt. will provide the new infrastructure or expand/renovate existing infrastructure for the Public Library in a strategic location in Berhampur, Balasore/Baripada where a wider section of the community will have easy access.
- Operational Support: Govt. will allocate resources like Funding and Manpower for daily operation. At least one experienced and well trained Librarian is required to drive the library activities and a Caretaker to effectively manage the infrastructure in a daily basis. A well-defined Govt. department will take ownership for daily operation and management of IT infrastructure.
- Direct involvement of civil society: There will be a Board/Trust/Council formed comprising of members from civil society who will meet at least once in a month to set the directions, drive the planning and execution, monitor the progress of the Public Library and work with the Library Administration for smooth functioning. The Board/Trust/Council members will constitute members like
3.1. Progressive Thinking civil society members with high respect and proven community service in
the local community;
3.2. Academicians with interest in Public Library from established local educational institutions;
3.3. Distinguished writers, poets in Odisha and willing to serve in the planning and execution
3.4. Representative from OSA;
3.5. Local Govt. officials those will be associated with the proposed Model Public Library;
3.6. An expert in modern public library as an advisor.
3.7. Information and Communication Technology(ICT) experts
- Direct Involvement of Beneficiaries/Stakeholders: The library administration will seek out and engage volunteers, from the civil society, who will actually help run the facility with supervision/guidance from the Librarian. With the help of the involved beneficiaries/stakeholders, the library will form various volunteer groups like “Friends of Library” or similar user groups to get additional support.
- By-Law: The Board/Trust/Council will follow a well defined By-law agreed upon to avoid any discrepancy and the By-law must meet the criteria to receive grant from Govt. and International organizations. The library should follow well defined standards to get grants from other charitable organizations like Ram Mohan Ray Foundation, Gates Foundation etc.
- Library Fund: A special library fund will be created to receive donations from various library supporters, and industries.
- Accountability and transparency: The library administration will ensure to provide periodic updates to the general public in a website linked to local NIC, local TV/Radio and printed media. Suggestion book will be placed in the campus.
The following library services will be provided in the proposed library.
- Broadband Internet: High speed Broadband Internet connectivity for at least 10 user terminals with parental control in a dedicated computer room.
The library will leverage Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as an enabler in creating the next generation of leaders by providing training, skills and support.
- Digital Contents: The library will provide various self-study digital books(e-books) on Job-seeking skills, Personal development, Information Technology(IT), Agriculture, Disaster preparedness, Odia literature; Study materials from Khan Academy; Educational/professional software like MS Office; Children’s educational software like Etoys (etoysIllinois.org); Recorded video lectures;
Khan Academy(khanacademy.org) provides free world class education for everyone.
Etoys (etoysIllinois.org) is a media-rich authoring system that helps children to learn by doing. It is an interactive tool that allows children to explore their ideas by creating models, simulations, and games which they can then share with other Etoy users in real time. Etoys is free and Open Source.
- Remote Video Conferencing: The library will provide Remote Video Conferencing facility for at least 25 users so that the beneficiaries will have interactive access to lectures/coachings/trainings from administration approved experts/volunteers from anywhere in the world over the broadband internet.
- E-Library: Automation of library collections and patrons by using library management software for future tracking and statistics. This is intended as it helps to determine effective usage of library collections.
- Web site: The library will have its own website and will be linked to local NIC website for general information about library and the activities so that people can access information from mobile.
- Meeting Hall/Seminar Hall/Mini Cyclone Center: Dedicated multi-purpose room with overhead projector, and audio visual facilities for seminars, meetings, trainings, and emergency shelters. The following services can be provided in the library hall.
- Educational movies/documentaries
- Lectures from Khan Academy, MIT, Harvard can be broadcasted
iii. Invited lectures/presentations.
( Say a Block Development Officer(BDO), Doctor, Bank Manager, Lecturer, an NRO )
In case of natural disaster, the Library Hall can be used as a mini cyclone center.
- Librarian: The library will provide a well trained/experienced librarian to bring dynamism and for effective execution of the proposed activities.
- Reading Room: There will be dedicated reading rooms for children and adults
- Newspapers: Paper copy of major daily newspapers in Odia, English and Hindi
- Magazines: Major Odia, English, Hindi Magazines
- Competitive books/guides: Books/guides for various Govt. and private job opportunities, employment news
- Books: Around 3000 spiritual, inspirational, patriotic, scientific, technological, vocational books for children, students and adults.
- Activities: There will be weekly informational activities like Storytelling, Career Guidance, General Awareness programs, Tutoring, Coaching, Painting, Documentary Movies, informational presentation/seminars by visiting experts, lecturers, Govt. officials etc. for children, students, women and adults in the library hall.
- Mentoring/Partnership: Volunteer Lecturers/Speakers/Teachers from the Schools, Colleges, Industries, NGO’s, Govt. Institutions and ordinary civil society can be invited to come every week to teach, and drive lively, entertaining, mind-stretching discussions at the library hall.
- Basic Amenities : The library will provide other basic amenities like storage room, parking, bathrooms, drinking water etc.
- Information center: The library can provide information service to the local citizens via electronic media.
- Lending Library: With a background check and a guarantor, books can be issued to the local members.
- Mobile Learning Facility: Assuming we can get complementing support, we greatly desire and aspire for a mobile learning facility that can travel to nearby areas needing the services.
The library should use its own website, Local TV, Local Radio and Print-media to spread the word and provide program schedule at the library.
The library should invite similar interest groups from industry and academics in Public Library Advocacy for promoting the importance of Public Library.
Future role of OSA:
With a successful establishment and operation of the proposed Model Library, on behalf of OSA Odisha Public Library Committee, we will assure that we will facilitate the following in the future.
- Connect and work with various US corporate houses/foundations for providing possible grants to Public Libraries in Odisha.
- Setup a dedicated OSA Odisha Public Library fund by many interested NROs in North America.
- Connect and work with the world renowned organizations like Gates Foundation in USA for World class libraries in Odisha.
- Facilitate to create Sister Libraries in Odisha via American Library Association(ALA) that is encouraging U.S. libraries to form relationships with libraries in other countries as part of the Sister Library Program to promote the concept of a global community of libraries
5. OSA Odisha Public Library Committee will support in the planning process.