Punjab Information Technology Board and Youth Affairs, Sports, Archelogy & Tourism Department on the directions of Chief Minister Punjab has established e-Libraries in 20 districts of Punjab. A central digital library has been established at the Punjab Information Technology Board data centre to provide online access to full text eBooks, eJournals, eTheses, online reference collections, Nobel laureate collections, documentaries, simulated videos and other local and international resources. A Union Catalogue of e-Libraries in Punjab has also been developed to facilitate sharing of resources across Punjab.
Major objective of these libraries is revival of reading and learning culture in general public, especially in children, youth, families and senior citizens. These libraries are focussed to:
- Inculcate e-reading and e-learning culture amongst general public, students, teachers and our society at large
- Provide avenues to general public for networking, exchange of views and help in curbing extremism
- Provide open access to free online resources and limited access to members for subscribed resources
- Engage communities especially youth and players into healthy activities, puppet shows, storytelling, kids activities
- Organize, social, recreational and educational activities at local level
- The library will facilitate special persons (visually impaired, deaf and physical disabilities)
In addition, these libraries provide:
- Free Wi-Fi Internet access and EM-based security system
- In each library around 3,000 high quality print books, documentaries and magazines
- Provide around 35 computers, tablets and multimedia for use in each library
- Auditorium facility for around 45 persons for community activities, seminars
- Facilitate exposure of latest technologies at local level
- Extension of digital contents to universities, colleges and schools in Punjab and other provinces
- Encourage local youth to get e-Rozgar through establishing eRozgar centres and provide training in each library premises.
- Training of locals in effective use of Internet, digital resources, books and magazines
Centralized Digital Library
A centralized digital library has been established and hosted at PITB data center. The centralized digital library provide access to general e-books e-theses, documentaries, videos, audios, local and international e-newspapers, e-magazines and journals, text and reference books, data sets and e-newspapers through user friendly searching. The collections have international standard metadata and classified into specific categories of subjects. Thousands of indigenous documents are accessible remotely free. Subscribed documents are accessible through computer terminals in 20 E-Libraries. Access rights have also be defined accordingly.
The scope of the Project will be later extended to all the public and universities libraries in Punjab. On a long term basis this project will lead to creation of indigenous digital books and documentaries, and lectures of notables, Nobel laureates and gurus of different subjects.
The centralized digital library team will also focus on:
- Digitization of printed materials
- Digitization of documentaries, audios, videos
- Creation of indigenous resources (e-lectures, videos)
- Organization of digital information... Metadata standards
- Information retrieval
- User interface
- Archiving and preservation
- Services and social issue
- Evaluation and applications to particular areas
Success of any organization, project or activity mainly depends on the performance of people. Therefore, highly competent library and IT staff has been hired to manage the 20 e-Libraries and at the Central Hub to manage the project.