Building Libraries to Promote Reading Habit Among People in Sundargarh

Sundargarh: Books are a great source of information and knowledge. However, in this digital and mobile era, book reading habit has been impacted across generations. So to arouse the interest of reading among students, youth and common people, the District Administration of Sundargarh is focusing on developing libraries with modern amenities. One such facility has recently been dedicated to the public at Bonai.

Under ‘Sundargarh Bahi Padha,’ a public library initiative, the Collector Nikhil Pavan Kalyan inaugurated the sub divisional library at Bonai.  Books for school students, youth and other age groups are available here. The library consists of childrens’ books, biographies, literature and science books etc which will attract the locals. The facility will soon have various books and period to help educated youth preparing for different competitive exams. The library will remain open six days a week from 9-12 Noon and 4-7PM.

“The Bonai public library will largely benefit the book lovers of the vicinity. It is equipped with proper reading room and a separate room for children. We are focusing on building library and reading room facilities at different places across the district to connect the students and common masses with information and knowledge through books,” informs the Collector Nikhil Pavan Kalyan.

There are different library set ups across the district. A modern library and reading room has been established in Zilla Sanskruti Bhawan. Having books on diverse subjects, the library will be upgraded to e-Library soon to fulfil the needs of students, researchers and youth. The e-Library will be linked with the State Library at Bhubaneswar so that the readers at Sundargarh will get access to various books and information available at the State Library. The library at Zilla Sanskruti Bhawan remains open from morning 10 to 1:30 PM and 2:30 to 5 PM in the evening. The library is closed for the public on Mondays.

Similarly, there is another library in Sundargarh under District Information and Public Relations Department. Books of diverse interests catering to different age groups have been kept in the library for the benefit of a cross section of the people. This library remains open from Monday to Saturday, 8 to 10:30 AM and 5 to 8 PM. The library is closed on Sundays.

To attract students, educated youngsters, and locals of rural areas, ‘Grameen Pathagara’ or Rural Libraries are being setup at block level in Sundargarh. Two such libraries are operational at Kamlaga in Hemgir block and at Block Headquarters in Lephripara. Reading rooms, drinking water and clean toilet facilities are provisioned at every facility which will comfort the readers and visitors in Sundargarh district.

Under ‘Sundargarh Bahi Padha’ the ‘Bahi Bagicha’ or Book Garden was conceptualised at the Collector’s residence to ignite a love for books among children, youth and others. Every Sunday there used to be variety of creative activities for children, including reading books. But the programme has been paused due to COVID.

As a part of High School Transformation Under 5T Initiative of the State Govt, modern library and e-Libraries and computer labs are being set up at Govt High Schools. In the first phase students at 67 renewed govt high schools are availing e-Library and ICT Lab facilities thus getting a taste of reading and enhancing their all round knowledge.

The District Mineral Foundation, DMF has provided financial support towards renovation of the Zilla Sanskruti Bhawan, the library at Information & Public Relations Department and Bonai Sub Divisional Library. DMF also supports the ‘Grameen Pathagaras’. In the coming days, the district administration plans to open more such rural libraries in other areas of Sundargarh.

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