Library, Democracy And Sustainable Development: The Role Of Public Libraries In India

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Abstract (Original Language): 
Free and open libraries are vital to the success of democracy. Public libraries do play an important role in our society. Libraries collect organize, preserve and provide access to knowledge and information. The public library system is perhaps one institution that can be readily associated with the social function of providing a reservoir of the true reflection of the diversity of human knowledge. They preserve valuable record of culture that can be passed down to succeeding generations. They provide people with access to information they need to work, play, learn and govern. It is an essential part of sustainable development. Strategies for sustainable development must include the democratization process. They help to bring people into the democratic process and keep them informed as citizens about the actions of their representatives. The democratic order is therefore tasked with the empowerment of individuals and communities in order to create a climate conducive to sustainable development. The public library system is envisaged as a sure means of achieving these noble objectives—the citizenry must be provided with a continuous access to information which will guide them through and where necessary to translate that information into action. This paper recognizes the central role played by the public library system in most democracies and advocated that the status of the public library system should be upgrading to a national agency. The plight of the public library system is that there are no clear and committed legislation on the part of the federal government in respect of its establishment and funding. It is this one singular predicament that has blighted the progress and contribution of the public library system to sustainable development. This paper looks at the role public libraries play in promoting democracy through providing free and open libraries, literacy and reading promotion, information and intellectual freedom.



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