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Introduction: The Assam Library Association (Asom Puthibharal Sanga) was started in the year 1938 mainly by the personal enthusiasm of Shri Kumudeswar Borthakur (1893-8th November 1966), a man who devoted his life for the growth and development of libraries in Assam; he was fully assisted in the matter of public library services by Lokpriya Gopinath Bardoloi and other political and social workers. By establishing this association Assam invades the list to become the first 8th state in establishing state level library Association. After the executive meeting held on 16th July 1972 ALA becomes inactive up to 1996. On 22nd February, 1997 it got revived with a full fledged executive council. The main contributions of ALA towards rural libraries are
a) Making people aware: After the birth of ALA “arrangement for a wide publicity of library movement was made through different avenues like Bihu festivals, public meeting, advertisement through the screen of Kelvin Cinema, Guwahati etc.” (Sharma: 1997: 7-8). Daily newspaper, market places were widely used for making the people alert. Children were encouraged to demand books from their parents on the occasion of their birthday or in good performance in their academic life. Daily ‘mustibhiksha’ (a handful of grains) were advised for the lower income group and money collected by selling these grains were advised to spend for libraries.
b) Organization of rural libraries: In the 1st conference of Assam Library Association in 1938 hardly 50 libraries were recorded to have been engaged in library work throughout villages of Assam and during the span of 10 years (1938-1948) Barthakur organized 250 libraries (Sharma: 2000: p.106). Between May-July, 1971 it established Goalpara, Tezpur, Jorhat, Nagaon, Nalbari, Barpeta, Dibrugarh, Mangoldoi, Guwahati Mahkuma Committee for carrying out its activities but in subsequent years it does not give any fruitful result. The association further at its “Granthalok” of 1972/73 listed 169 rural libraries of Assam with details address (Granthalok: 1973: 81-87) that are affiliated to ALA.
c) Draft public library Act: On the invitation of the eight conferences (1964) of the All Assam Library Association held at Gauhati, Dr. S. R. Ranganathan prepared a Draft Public Libraries Act for Assam which was submitted to the Government and further in the 9th Annual conference held at Guwahati on 9, 10 and 11th April, 1971 reiterated to its earlier demand was made but it did not give any fruitful result up till now. The Draft Public Library Act was published in the Souvenir of Assam Library Association of 1971. Again since 1998 attempt has continuously been made to leaser extent to enact the library legislation in Assam.
d) Training of library personnel: Through a resolution passed at the eight conferences (1964), the All Assam Library Association had resolved to start a certificate course in library science but till now it does not lead to any fruitful results.
e) Publication: In connection with the 8th Annual conference of 1964 it published one Souvenir; Souvenir was also published by the reception committee of 9th Annual conference in 1971. At the 10th Annual Conference on 24th and 25th November, 1972 at Nagaon the half yearly official organ of the association by name “Granthalok” makes appear. In 1972/73 it brings out another volume of its official organ Granthalok. One newsletter was also published in the year 1999.
f) Annual conferences: It also made an attempt to build up a voluntary village library system through organization of conferences in different district and the association has been able by this way to enlist and arouse public support and sympathy for public libraries by holding different conferences at Dibrugarh (1938), Tezpur (1952), Nagawn, Jorhat (1953), Golaghat (1955), Bokakhat (1957), Mangoldoi (1959), Guwahati (8th conference, 24th and 25th October 1964), Guwahati (9th conference on 9, 10 and 11th April, 1971), Nagaon (10thAnnual Conference on 24th and 25th November, 1972) etc.
g) Librarians day celebration: In 1998 ALA celebrate ‘librarian’s day’ with GLA at Guwahati and in 1999 with Jorhat Library Association. It has observed its 12thAnnual Conference during 12th August at Guwahati District Library Auditorium along with that librarians Day is also observed with Department of Library and Information Science, Gauhati University and Guwahati Library Association.
Date: 38/12/2010. Time: 9.00 am to 4.30 pm.Venue: Satyanath Borah Auditorium, Dighalipukhuri East, Guwahati-781001.Collaboration With: Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation (RRRLF), Kolkata.Paper…Continue
Started by Badan Barman Dec 25, 2010.
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