Kerala to get four digital libraries

Four digital libraries would be set up in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram district as part of digital literacy project.

The decision to set up digital libraries was announced by N K Sinha, Secretary, Union Ministry For Culture and Tourism, through a webcast as part of the seminar on ‘Transforming public libraries into vibrant and inclusive knowledge spaces’  in the national capital recently.

The live webcast was screened at one of the libraries, Avittam Thirunnal Library, Kuriyathi as part of the second stage of digital literacy project in Kerala being implemented by P N Panicker Foundation, under which four digital libraries will be set up in the district.

Each of them will be provided with digital gadgets and accessories like computers, laptops, webcams, projectors, printers, Kindle e-readers along with high-speed internet connections.

 “We already received gadgets worth Rs 2.5 lakh and are working to offer effective e-skill training to all members of the library and children in Kuriyathi aged between 6 and 18,” said Surendran Kuriyathi, secretary, Avittam Thirunal Library.

The other library to be digitalised is the Jai Christ Library at Adimalathura and a new library will be set up at Peringamala in Thirunvanthapuram.

The digital literacy programme in Kerala initiated by the P N Panicker Foundation is all set to transform public libraries into lively and all-encompassing digital knowledge hubs and across the state 18 libraries will be digitized spending Rs 1 crore.

The project, which was officially inaugurated by Vice-President Hamid Ansari in August, aims to digitally empower the marginalised and common man to overcome the digital divide they face in the society. “Our aim is the absolute democratization of information through digital media.

For that the basics of e-learning should reach even the poor, who now form only less than one-fourth of total e-literates in the state. Otherwise they will stand marginalized in various e-governance, e-health and e-commerce platforms,” said N Balagopal, vice-chairman, P N Panicker Vigyan Vikas Kendra.

The foundation has also tied up with Indian Public Library Movement (IPLM) to open a web portal. It will allow a student in the remotest village in Kerala will have access to the archives of Kolkata National Library and even the New York Public Library and other international libraries free of cost,” said B R Nair, a member of the foundation.

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