Schemes of Assistance and Promotional Activities of Raja Rammmohun Roy Library Foundation

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There are three schemes under which financial assistance is rendered to the libraries:

  1. Assistance towards the Organisation of Library Workshops, Seminars and Book Exhibitions

  2. Assistance towards storage of books.

  3. Assistance to voluntary educational institutions/ organizations running public library services.

8.4.1 Assistance towards Organisation of Library Workshops, Seminars and Book Exhibitions:

The object of this scheme is to give reorientation training to librarians and to promote the use of books and reading habit among the public. Assistance under the scheme is available to the Library Department/ Directorate of the State, State Central Libraries, Library Associations and Institutions Imparting in Library Science.44

This is a new scheme adopted for the Sixth Plan Period and introduced from the year 1978-79. The object of the scheme is to give reorientation training to the serving librarians and to provide library and book consciousness among the public.45

8.4.2 Assistance towards Storage of Books

This is a comparatively new scheme adopted in 1979-80to enable small libraries below district level to keep and display increasing number of books received from the Foundation.

Under this scheme financial assistance is given to the libraries for purchasing not more than two almiras/ racks in a year on the recommendation of the State Government.

8.4.3 Assistance to voluntary educational institutions/ organizations running public library services.

This is financial scheme. The scheme was so long operated by the Department of Culture, Government of India. It has been transferred to the Foundation from the financial year 1986-87. The objective of the scheme is to render financial assistance to voluntary financial institutions working in the field of public libraries for the purchase of books, furniture and equipment.

Assistances rendered under the scheme of Assistance to voluntary educational institutions/ organizations running Public Library Services.

The scheme under which assistance was given for binding and preservation of rare books, journals and manuscripts was dropped during the 7th Plan period in view of the fact that the Department of Culture adopted an identical scheme (since transferred to the National Archives). Bit it continued to release some funds under the scheme to honour the previous commitment. During the year 1986-87 the Foundation rendered financial assistance to the tune of Rs.0.17 lakhs to 5 libraries. So far the Foundation covered 458 libraries and spent Rs.9.08 lakhs for the purpose.46


The chronological account of the schemes of assistance presented above has undergone certain modifications, some of which were either scraped or merged with other schemes during the course of time. Now follows the account of the schemes prevalent at present.

8.5.1 Book Assistance

Books are necessary and essential part of every library. Availability and usefulness of books are chief source of attraction of the readers of a library. There is concomitant relation between the size and quantity of its collection and the number of readers it serves as a determinant actor for the quality of a library. With the timely augmentation of its stock of books a library grows up. But augmentation of stock is dependent on the availability of funds. In the Indian context the lion’s share of the available fund is spent on staff maintenance and a little is left for stock development. Therefore the Foundation has been considering the Assistance of books to the public libraries as one of its essential programmes since long, known as “Assistance towards Building up of Adequate Stock of Books and other Reading and Visual Materials including CDs.”

It is to be noted that the organizational pattern of the public libraries below district level is not uniform throughout India, they do not always conform to the administrative units either. In south India, they are called Branch Libraries, in west and north India they are called Taluka or Tehhil Libraries and in east India , Sub-Divisional Libraries. Further below there are Block, Municipal, Town and Rural Libraries. In Tamil Nadu, there are 2711 public libraries out of which 1530 libraries are Branch Libraries. In the state of Gujrat, about 129 Women Libraries and nine (9) Braille Libraries have been functioning. In the state of Maharastra, there are 703 libraries divided into five groups according to its size, status etc. (viz. A-65, A1-35, B-201, C-201, D-201) of which many are run by voluntary organisations, registered or un-registered. For the purpose of giving grants the libraries are classified into various groups. The objective of the Foundation being to extend library service to small towns and villages, great care has been laid upon to render assistance to this group of libraries.

At present there are as many as fourteen Assistance Programmes in vogue run by the Foundation in collaboration with the Library Department or Department-in-Charge of the public library services of the concerned states and union territory administrations47.

Assistance under this scheme is given from two (2) sources: (a) Matching Source and (b) Non-Matching Source. When the assistance is rendered from the Matching Source, the responsibility of selection, purchase and distribution of books is vested with State Authority; and when the assistance is rendered from the Central (non-matching) Source, the Foundation is responsible for the selection, purchase and distribution of books.48

During 2009-10 twenty-six (26) states participated in the Book Assistance Schemes49. These states are: 1) Andhra Pradesh, 2) Arunachal Pradesh, 3) Assam, 4) Goa, 5) Gujrat, 6) Haryana, 7) Himachal Pradesh, 8) Jammu & Kashmir, 9) Karnataka, 10) Kerala, 11) Maharastra, 12) Manipur, 13) Meghalaya, 14) Mizoram, 15) Nagaland, 16) Orissa, 17) Rajasthan, 18) Sikkim, 19) Tamil Nadu, 20) Tripura, 21) Uttar Pradesh, 22) West Bengal 23) Andaman & Nicobar Islands, 24) Chandigarh, and 25) Jharkhand and 26) Uttarakhand. Utilized contribution to the state governments raised to Rs.13,16,32,522.22 as on 31 March 201050. Matching Book Assistance

The State Library Planning Committee or the State Library Committee (SLPC/ SLC) in state and union territory administration prepares proposals for assistance under this scheme. It prepares the list of books including e-books in terms of the guidelines laid down by the Foundation and available matching fund. It also prepares the list of the recipient libraries. Once the list of books and the list of libraries to which books are to be sent are approved by the SLCP/ SLCs, steps for purchase and distribution of such books are undertaken. Payment is released by the Foundation on receipt of the selected books, copies of orders, list of selected libraries and certified bills from the convenors of SLPCs/ SLCs of the respective states. However for the state of Nagaland, the Foundation assumes the responsibility for purchase and distribution of books on request of the Nagaland government as they do not have the adequate machinery for the job. During the 2008-2009 financial year fifteen states and union territories availed of book assistance through the matching scheme.

The scheme of book assistance is available for all categories of public libraries viz. State Central Library, Regional/ Divisional Libraries, Sub-Divisional Libraries, District Libraries, City Libraries, Town Libraries, Municipal Libraries, Tehsil Libraries, Rural Libraries, sr. Secondary School Public Libraries, Secondary School Public Libraries, Registered Voluntary Organisations (NGOs), and Mobile Libraries which are all maintained or aided or recognized/ sponsored by the respective state governments/ union territory administrations51.

State Central Libraries are set up by almost all states and union territories except that Delhi is served by Delhi Public Library and Connemara Public Library and M S Town Library get books under the Delivery of Books Act, 1954 for the states of Tamil Nadu and Maharastra respectively. But in the state of Gujrat two (2) State Central Libraries are functioning and in the newly created states of Uttarakhand, Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand no State Central Libraries has yet been set up. Regional Libraries are functioning in some states, viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra and Rajasthan. District Libraries have been functioning in most of the districts of the states. Some of the Regional Libraries and State Central Libraries are functioning as District Libraries for the respective districts in which they are located. State Central Libraries and Regional Libraries are generally government libraries. However, the Gujrat Vidyapith in Gujrat, Sinha Library in Bihar and Maulana Azad Central Library in Madhya Pradesh are notable exceptions. Similarly, some of the District libraries are government libraries and some are government-aided libraries. In Karnataka seventeen (17) are functioning and ten (10) District Libraries are functioning as administrative authority in the state. In Andhra Pradesh, Zila Granthalaya Samsthas/ City Granthalaya Samsthas are functioning as administrative authorities. In the state of Himachal Pradesh, Senior Secondary School Public Libraries and Secondary School Public Libraries has been functioning. Fifty inter-college public libraries are functioning in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In the state of Rajasthan 237 Sarvajanik Panchayat Samiti Pustakalaya has been functioning at the school campus. In Madhya Pradesh, more than 800 nodal centres of Continuing Education Programme under Rajiv Gandhi Siksha Mission are also rendering public library service. In Kerala all public libraries except State Central Library are run by voluntary organisations in terms of the provisions of the Kerala Public Libraries Act . Non-Matching (Direct) Book Assistance

In addition to matching assistance, the Foundation also renders direct book assistance out of its own central non-matching source to certain categories of libraries in a limited scale through Central Selection of Books52. The beneficiary libraries under this scheme are:

  • Centrally Sponsored Libraries:

Under this scheme of assistance the Nehru Yuvak Kendras under the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs and Rural Libraries under Palli Samgathana Vibhag of Viswa Bharati, Santiniketan are covered.

  • State Central Libraries, District Libraries and such other public libraries as the Foundation may decide from time to time.

Apart from the books mainly in the regional languages selected by the respective SLPC/ SLC for supply to selected public libraries, the Foundation centrally selects books in English and Hindi for distribution to State Central Libraries, District Libraries and some selected public libraries in the country. The Adminidtrative Committee of the Foundation has prepared detailed guidelines for selection of such books from amongst the titles submitted by various publishers from all over the country after their physical verification. Besides, the selection is made from reviews, publishers’ catalogues, book jackets and on the basis of the recommendations of the recommending authorities.

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