Only 1.5 per cent of West Bengal’s population uses the state’s 2,480 government libraries that boast a collection of over 1.80 crore books, library and mass education minister Siddiqullah Chowdhury said here Thursday.
The minister said the state government was making all efforts to turn people back towards books and libraries, besides trying to get the present generation hooked to reading.
Speaking at a press meet here, Chowdhury said from now on all state government libraries would have separate corners for women and children. “All libraries will have to be cleaned at least once a year,” he said.
Stating that from January 2017, North Bengal would also have an advisory committee on libraries like South Bengal, Chowdhury said the state government has sent a proposal to the British Deputy High Commission so that the state could tie-up with the British Library for the purpose of teaching English to children and youths.
“The proposal for Kolkata has already been accepted,” the minister said.
Chowdhury said he has instructed that state government libraries should have books on agriculture, journals and magazines which provide information related to jobs, books on cooking and books for children.
“Sixty five libraries in Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar have no toilets and 90 libraries have no drinking water facility. I have asked all DMs to take proper initiatives,” the minister added.
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