Presentation on theme: "For a public library system. The public library, the local gateway to knowledge, provides a basic condition for lifelong learning, independent decision-"— Presentation transcript:
For a public library system
The public library, the local gateway to knowledge, provides a basic condition for lifelong learning, independent decision- making and cultural development of the individual and social groups.
The internationally accepted definition of a public library it is a library which is: (i) is financed out of public funds; (ii) charges no fees from readers and yet is open for full use by the public without distinction of caste, creed or sex;
(iii) is intended as an auxiliary educational institution providing a means of self education which is endless; (iv) houses learning materials giving reliable information freely and without partiality or prejudice on as wide a variety of subjects as will satisfy the interests of readers.
While the process of public library legislation was in progress in Great Britain, Edward Edwards, pioneer of the public library in Great Britain, summed up their built-in failure over a hundred years ago, in evidence to the Select Committee on Public Libraries of the House of Commons in 1849:
New libraries should be formed in a catholic spirit. They should be freed from all dependence either in gifts or in current 'subscriptions', for their permanent support. New institutions and their management should stand entirely aloof from party influences in politics or religion,
the maintenance must be by rate, levied on the whole tax-paying community, and administered by its elective and responsible functionaries.
a legal basis was necessary, if the public library was to be a permanent institution. on the implications of this statement most of the public library legislation of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century was founded.
But when Unesco revised the Manifesto in 1994 it took care of the issue of equal opportunity to all citizens to use the services of public libraries. incorporating the guidelines / principles: Funding, legislation and networks
The public library shall in principle be free of charge. The public library is the responsibility of local and national authorities It must be supported by specific legislation and financed by national and local governments.
It has to be an essential component of any long-term strategy for culture, information provision, literacy and education legislation and strategic plans must also define and promote a national library network based on agreed standards of service.
The public library network must be designed to ensure nationwide library coordination and cooperation in relation to national, regional, research and special libraries as well as libraries in schools, colleges and universities.
A clear policy must be formulated, defining objectives, priorities and services in relation to the local community needs. The public library has to be organized effectively and professional standards of operation must be maintained.
Cooperation with relevant partners - user groups and other professionals - at local, regional, national as well as international level has to be ensured. Services have to be physically accessible to all members of the community
This requires well situated library buildings, good reading and study facilities, as well as relevant technologies and sufficient opening hours convenient to the users. It equally implies outreach services for those unable to visit the library.
The library services must be adapted to the different needs of communities in rural and urban areas. Outreach and user education programmes have to be provided to help users benefit from all the resources.
The librarian is an active intermediary between users and resources. Professional and continuing education of the librarian is indispensable to ensure adequate services.
The Ibadan seminar (Nigeria, 1953) organized by UNESCO resolved that only legislation could provide the necessary secure and permanent foundation of a public library system
Only legislation can empower the appropriate authorities to provide the service, and ensure adequate financial support and efficient administration according to a national standard.
Only legislation can define the functions of the providing authority, create the conditions in which it may fulfil those functions, and ensure development.
Legislation would be mandatory whenever conditions become favourable: the possession of necessary finance and all requisite material by the providing authority, the existence of a tested organization, and the presence of trained and experienced personnel.
Above all, compulsory primary education is a preceding factor. But the Ibadan statement kept silent about the administrative unit on which implementation must depend, or financial problems,
but it did prescribe mandatory legislation under favourable conditions since it was recognized that permissive legislation might well allow for a high standard to be set by enthusiastic authorities, which would act as an inspiration to others
IFLA memorandum on the development of public library services (1955) recommends that each State should adopt library law. Appropriate local authorities must be empowered to expend public funds for public library purposes and the amount of local expenditure should not be limited.
all the services provided must be available to all inhabitants free of any charge whatsoever. Each local authority should have power to appoint staff who shall be employed in accordance with the conditions and regulations applicable to other local government officers.
IFLA statement also proposed permissive legislation it did not make any proposals about central control, the size of the administrative area, or financial viability of local authority areas. it did not mention the vital problem of minimum expenditure.
Delhi seminar (1955) accepted the proposals: Over-all control and co-operation of development, to provide for a permanent and progressive national public library service, can be obtained only by legislation.
Opportunity for the development of public library service will be available to all people on the basis of free and equal access. An independent service and not one attached to another department
The constitution of a governing body as the central library board or in a federal state a number of such bodies, subject to a national body with advisory functions.
Delhi seminar proposals refer to the private partnership in founding and maintaining public library services. but affirm that planned direction and control are now required, and that these cannot be achieved by subsidy to private organizations
Legislation provide for over-all control, viable areas and financial support at national and local level The search for an convenient / appropriate and viable administrative unit as the real basis for the development of public library services is a matter of some importance.
It should be a viable area as regards finance and administration, and at the same time, should conform as far as possible to existing local govt. boundaries in both urban and rural districts.
1)the nature of the State itself and the place that legislation takes in its structure 2) the nature of the authority by which national government passes on its responsibilities
3) the constitutional rights of established organisms within in a federal State where the doctrine of ultra vires not apply and local government may establish any service they are not specifically forbidden to do,
public libraries may exist perfectly legally by local legislation in Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, but this in turn will cause difficulties in framing a general law.
The Indian Panchayat Raj system of local government is a traditional form incorporated into the local government system of a modern State, organized generally on the English pattern characterized by decentralization with local bodies with more independent powers, as against concentration in the French pattern.
4)Educational situation 5) Language and book production 6) Population density and concentration 7) Income and tax structure at local and national level 8) Existing legislation
9) Trained librarians and training facilities: Opportunities for training abroad must also be considered. In India and Pakistan, facilities for training and qualification are in advance of employment possibilities in the public sector-not only bad planning but wasteful public policy
10) An integrated library service with different types of libraries may be considered, But it would tend to stifle the growth of public library service. 11) There is an obvious need for provision for cooperation and coordination, probably best roganised around the national / state library.
12) A central authority charged with carrying out the provisions of legislation is a modern device of government much used in developing countries. Should it be an independent body or one linked to, or subordinate to, a government department?
if education is chosen as the implementing and organizing department, then a section including trained librarians is essential, with advisory and inspecting functions.
13) Permissive or mandatory legislation permissive legislation is of limited effectiveness, even when accompanied by financial inducements. But provision should be made for progressive implementation at a rate to be determined by resources and other conditions already mentioned.
14) The size of the unit what unit, what size and with what authority? the appropriate local authority must eventually be given a responsible place in any national scheme of book service. The roots of the service must be in the local community rather than in the state, regional or national headquarters.
15) Finance public funds - taxation. any unit at local level must be a tax- raising body, and provision for funds from taxation at a national level must be written into any legislation. In a federal system, another stage of financial support will be introduced.
What we notice in nearly all recent legislation is - 1) the search for a larger and more viable unit of service, which must be geographically and financially able to deploy larger resources for public library services – and 2) creation of a central advisory body to encourage improvement of public library services
Permissive legislation is replaced by mandatory legislation in most countries. In UK and Scandinavian countries, mandatory provision is not necessary since coverage is already complete. In Canada and USA, though the provision is not mandatory, the problem is no longer one of provision, but of viability.
In all the recent legislation, the intervention of the central govt. either at state or federal level or both has led to the setting up of a central body to guide future progress. The central library body may take many forms, either advisory / executive.
The central library councils are an advisory in all the Scandinavian countries and UK. They are consulted in all matters of importance to the working of libraries and gave the right to initiate representation. But in Ireland, Canada and USA, it can be said to be executive body with potentially great powers.
Another feature of the recent legislation is the provision of grant-in-aid on a generous scale from federal/state to the local library fund to persuade authorities to improve their services and also to enter into cooperative agreements of some kind.
In Denmark, Finland and Norway grants to libraries and grants for regional services have been progressively increased. In USA, federal legislation provides grants to the local library authorities through the states which in turn must contribute similar sums. In UK, there are general contributions to local authority funds. Canada shows an increasing and complex system of grant- in-aid from the state.
India is a very large country with a predominantly rural population, a small per capita income and a number of recognized languages. India is a federal State provision of public libraries is reserved to the states and is their sole responsibility. Even grants under the five-year plans, given specifically in the past for public library development
The legal powers to take over the many private or association libraries are also limited To bring them into the public sector would require separate legislation which is unlikely to be voted. the Advisory Committee of 1959 proposed an All-India Library Advisory Council, with an executive committee nominated by the Minister of Education, and a secretariat consisting of a division of libraries in the Ministry of Education.
There is a national Ministry of Education, and it could be given co-ordinating functions. It also suggested that the Government of lndia should contribute to the library funds of the state an amount equal to funds raised by property tax. Presumably, these proposals would require legislation at national level.