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Activities


The Association has been performing the following functions and activities
i) Making People Aware: After the birth of ALA an attempt was made for a wide publicity of the library movement through different avenues like Bihu festivals, public meeting, advertisement through the screen of Kelvin Cinema, Guwahati etc. With the help of daily newspapers and using the market places people were sought to be made aware of the library movement. Children were encouraged to demand books from their parents on the occasion of their birthday or as reward for good performance in examination. The lower income groups of people were approached for small contribution through “mustibhiksha”, which was a unique way of collecting handful of grains and the money thus collected from the sale of the grains was to be spent on libraries.
ii) 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 the villages of Assam and during the span of 10 years (1938-1948) Barthakur organized 250 libraries. Between May-July, 1971 it established Goalpara, Tezpur, Jorhat, Nagaon, Nalbari, Barpeta, Dibrugarh, Mangoldoi, Guwahati Mahkuma Committee for carrying out its activities but in the subsequent years it did not give much fruitful result. The Association, further, at its “Granthalok” of 1972/73 listed 169 rural libraries of Assam with detailed address (Granthalok: 1973: 81-87) that were affiliated to ALA.
iii) Draft Public Library Act: On the invitation of the 8th conferences (1964) of the All Assam Library Association held at Gauhati under the chairmanship of Pandit Dr. Maheswar Neog, 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 its earlier demand but it has not got any fruitful result 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 enact the library legislation in Assam. A draft Assam State Public Library and Information Bill made by a Govt-appointed committee has been submitted and now it is in the process of being accepted.
iv) Publication: In connection with the 8th Annual conference of 1964 ALA published one Souvenir; A Souvenir was also published by the reception committee with 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 titled “Granthalok” took birth. In 1972/73 it brought out another volume of “Granthalok”. One newsletter was published in the year 1999.
v) Seminars, Conferences, Workshops and Training: ALA also made an attempt to build up a voluntary village library system by organizing conferences in different districts and in this way has been able to arouse and enlist 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 (10th Annual Conference on 24th and 25th November, 1972) etc.
vi) Certificate Course in LIS: Through a resolution passed in the 8th Conference (1964), the All Assam Library Association had resolved to start a certificate course in Library Science but till now it has not been implemented.
vii) Librarian’s Day Celebration: ALA has been celebrating Librarians’ Day every year (except in 2006) and organized programmes like special talk with some appointed speakers, felicitation to library professionals, symposium, seminar, etc. In 1998 ALA celebrated Librarian’s Day with Guwahati Library Association (GLA) at Guwahati and in 1999 with Jorhat Library Association. It observed its 12th Annual Conference on 12th August at Guwahati District Library Auditorium along with the Librarian’s Day which was also observed in association with the Department of Library and Information Science, Gauhati University and Guwahati Library Association.
viii) Felicitation to LIS Professionals: ALA felicited Shri Birendra Kumar Sharma, former Librarian, Pragjyotish College in recognition of his contributions to the library profession especially to the college library system of Assam with a Phulam Gamocha, Sarai and Citation.

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