Nation Current Affairs 17 Oct 2018 Libraries director p ...

Libraries director post remains vacant for years

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Oct 17, 2018, 6:14 am IST
Updated Oct 17, 2018, 6:14 am IST
The Madras high court has quashed the appointment of school education director S.Anbalagan as the director of public libraries in 2012 .
Till then, the school education department used to appoint school education directors as director of public libraries if it did not find suitable candidates for the post. (Representational Image)
 Till then, the school education department used to appoint school education directors as director of public libraries if it did not find suitable candidates for the post. (Representational Image)

Chennai: When more than 4,600 libraries in the state are in need of fresh ideas and a vision to remain relevant in the digital era, the director of public libraries, the top post in administering libraries remains vacant for over six years.

Several works including the collection of library cess around Rs 200 crore from local bodies, modernisation of libraries, and training to librarians could not take place as the post is given an additional charge for school education directors, sources alleged.    

 

The Madras high court has quashed the appointment of school education director S.Anbalagan as the director of public libraries in 2012 citing that he did not have qualifications including masters' degree in library science and 15 years experience in running libraries.

Till then, the school education department used to appoint school education directors as director of public libraries if it did not find suitable candidates for the post.

Following the court's order, the appointment of library director has witnessed several rounds of litigations as fixing the seniority to district library officers to promote them into the feeding cadres such as deputy director and joint director has become a stumbling block.

 

Sources said the efforts to fix the seniority to district library officers are on. The state government also tried twice by calling applications from qualified persons to fill the post. But the interview was postponed for some unknown reasons.

"The state government either should have amended the rule following the court order or they should have taken steps to appoint the full-time director who completed library science. The issue with the in charge directors is that they could focus only on the important issues," sources said.

The district library officers have to collect around `200 crore as library cess from the local bodies. "Due to fund crisis, the local bodies are not giving the library cess which is 10 per cent of the property tax to the public libraries," sources said.

 

"We need a full-time director to streamline the process of collecting library cess. Like the Swachh Bharat tax, a library cess also needs to be deposited as and when the property tax is collected by creating a separate head. Since the directorate is functioning without a full-time director, the issues are not pursued properly," a source told this paper.

"The routine affairs are not monitored at present. To update the libraries and librarians, the director of public libraries need to conduct the inspections regularly and periodical reviews on various works," a senior librarian pointed out.

 

A section of officers felt that the contribution from non-library science directors is more to the development of public libraries compared to the directors with library science degrees.

When contacted, a district library officer said, "The library works including the promotion of librarians are happening. But it takes time since we do not have a full-time director and the review of the works is missing."

Madras Library Association president K.Nithyanandam argued that public libraries will be improved if qualified persons in library science assume charge as director of public libraries.

 

"Thousands of librarians in the state are not familiar with computers. They need training and orientation programmes to access digital achieves. A full-time director is needed for effective monitoring and revamping of over 4,600 libraries in the state," he urged.

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