Pak-LIS News
September 2001, Vol. 1, No.6

 

Contents

Editorial

Public Library Finance in Pakistan

Professional News

Library Professionals ShareTheir Experiences of US Stay
Pakistan Journal of Library & Information Science

Pakistan Library Bulletin

Personal Announcements

Congratulations

Guest Editorial

Public Library Finance in Pakistan

Khalid Mahmood, Lecturer, Department of Library and Information Science, University of the Punjab, Lahore

The European public library movement also affected the British India and, during the first half of the nineteenth century, subscription libraries were established in some larger cities. In later years, the provision of public libraries was made one of the duties of municipalities and local governments. As a result, several libraries came into existence during the early years of the twentieth century. After independence, the government of Pakistan continued the setting up of public libraries. According to a recent survey, there are more than 300 public libraries in the country.

The functioning of public libraries in Pakistan is not up to the mark due to shortage of adequate financial support. No norms for funding public libraries exist in the country. Various library experts have been recommending different formulas for public library funding in Pakistan. In 1949, Moid, suggesting a national plan for library service in the country, recommended that local bodies, provincial government and central government should provide 60%, 25% and 15% funding respectively. He also proposed a library tax at the rate of 8 annas per capita. In 1968, Riazuddin recommended that the financial structure of public libraries in Pakistan should rest on finances from local, provincial, and central governments in the ratio of 50, 30 and 20 percent respectively. In 1972, Hossain recommended that each District Council should set aside at least 2% of its income towards library services. On 3 February 1972 the Punjab Government issued a circular letter, advising that the local bodies may spend 1% of their budget for the development of public libraries. Drafts of public library act proposed from time to time to the government contained specific clauses for financial support. Draft legislation for libraries in Karachi Division, prepared by the Society for the Promotion and Improvement of Libraries in 1961 proposed that a reasonable percentage of property or house tax be allocated for libraries. The provincial government should also allocate an amount not less than that allocated by the Karachi Municipal Committee. The draft proposed by Khurshid in 1973 suggested that local authority should levy library cess at the rate of 10 paisas for every rupee in the property or house tax. He further proposed that the provincial government, and if necessary, the federal government should provide matching grants which should not be less than double of the amount allocated by the local authority. Another draft prepared by Akhtar in 1975 proposed a library cess at the rate of 10 paisas but the matching grant was to be equal to the amount of cess collected. A draft proposed by the Technical Working Group of the Federal Ministry of Education in 1984 recommended to allocate 2% of the total budget of local bodies for library service. Matching grants from the provincial and federal governments were also suggested. This recommendation was repeated in a draft submitted to the Education Secretary, Punjab by the Director General Public Libraries in 1994.

Unfortunately, the authorities adopted no recommendation and public library funding remained, on average, about one half percent of the total budget of local governments. As a result, public libraries present a gloomy picture. Their book stock is inadequate both quantitatively and qualitatively. Mostly collections are outdated and the annual rate of acquisitions is very low. Due to the shortage of professional staff resources are not properly organized. Library buildings are ill kept and in need of repair and renovation.

Now, the present government has introduced a new system of decentralized government. Newly elected Nazims have taken over the charge of their administrative positions in the respective district, tehsil and union councils. Everyone hopes that, with more public representation, this new system will bring a positive change in the society. It is the need of the hour to acknowledge the role of public libraries in the socio-economic life of the society. The federal government should make an effective legislation for the development of public libraries in the country. Local bodies should be instructed to spend at least two percent of their budget on libraries. There must be a good public library at least council level. For further financial support to public libraries, the government should establish library foundations in all provinces (like the Punjab Library Foundation.) .[Contents]

Professional News

Library Professionals Share Their Experiences of US Stay

Ms. Kanwal Ameen and Mr. Manzoor share about their experience with the library professioanls gathered at American Consulate.

Ms Kanwal Ameen, lecturer, Department of Library and Information Science, University of the Punjab, got Fulbright Scholarship for her research. She studied courses of library and information Science at University of Texas and stayed 9 month in United States. In her Address, she gave brief description about Fulbright Scholarship and told the audience about latest development in the field. She told the professionals about the cultural shocks which one bears during ones stay in different culture.

Mr. Manzoor Ahmad, IRC Coordinator, visited Library of Congress and attended 92nd SLA Annual Conference "2001-an Information Odyssey. He gave detailed information about United States. He visited School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin.

Pakistan Journal of Library and Information Science

 

The annual research journal of the Department of Library and Information Science, university of the Punjab, Lahore, 'Pakistan Journal of Library and Information Science' issue 6 (2000) has been published. The department is planning to display the fulltext articles on Internet free of cost.

Table of Contents:

Urdu Section

 

Pakistan Library Bulletin

Library Promotion Bureau publishes 'Pakistan Library Bulletin' Vol. 32 No. 1-2 (May-June 2001). It is quarterly journal which is being published for last 32 years.

Table of Contents:

Urdu Section

 

Personal Announcements

Congratulations

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