Govt to endorse library policy

Kathmandu, March 16:

Fifty years after the first library was established in Nepal, the government is now in a mood to endorse the Library and Information Service National Policy.

The draft of the policy is being revised and suggestions by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) are being included after which this will be endorsed by a ministerial level meeting.

A nine-member committee formed last year under the co-ordination of Dashrath Thapa, chief of Nepal National Library (NNL), had submitted the draft policy to the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) recently.

The MoES then forwarded it to the MoIC for further suggestions.

Thapa told this daily that the new policy will determine the registration of libraries, set up the standard for a library, budget allocation, data collection and framework for various types of libraries along with the methods to keep the record updated.

The policy would be out within a month, said Thapa.

The draft states that all the schools and government offices should have libraries.

The National Library Association (NLA) has estimated that there are around 1,000 libraries through out the country.

Bhola Shrestha, chief of Keshar Library, said that the policy would streamline the existing libraries and helps run them smoothly with provision of fund.

The draft has proposed formation of a library board to decide on providing registration to libraries.

Most of the libraries are registered as NGOs and as co-operatives.

Even though there is no policy, major public libraries have been receiving government fund for operating.