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March 4, 2018

E-libraries established in 20 districts of Punjab

National

March 4, 2018

Lahore: The Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaelogy and Tourism Department (YASAT) have established e-libraries in 20 districts of the province.

A central digital library has been established at the PITB data centre to provide online access to full text of e-books, e-journals, e-theses, online reference collections, Nobel laureate collections, documentaries, simulated videos and other local and international resources. A Union Catalogue of Libraries in Punjab has also been developed to facilitate sharing of resources across Punjab.

The libraries are focused to promote e-reading and e-learning culture, and to provide the avenues to general public for networking, exchange of views, open access to free online resources and limited access to members for subscribed resources, engage the youth and players in healthy activities.

The libraries will also facilitate special persons — visually-impaired, deaf and other persons with physical disabilities. The libraries have been established in the districts of Attock, Bahawalpur, Bhakhar, Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Lahore, Mianwali, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Narrowal, Okara, Rahimyar Khan, Rawalpindi, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Sheikhupura, Toba Tek Singh and Vehari.

Each library comprises an auditorium with seating facilitiy for 50 people, multimedia facility, e-Rozgar room with 16 computers, e-learn facility, digital library access room with 10 computers, five tables and beautiful work stations. Each library provides free Wi-Fi Internet.

Electromagnetic-based library security system has been installed in each library for protection of pilferage of resources. In each library, around 3,000 high quality printed books, documentaries and magazines have been provided in air-conditioned environment with access to central digital library resources. The libraries offer free access to every citizen without membership fee. They remain open seven days a week in two shifts.

The centralised digital library established and hosted at PITB data centre provides access to more than 50,000 e-books e-theses, documentaries, videos, audios, local and international e-newspapers, e-magazines and journals, text and reference books, data sets and e-newspapers through user-friendly searching.

This is the only digital library in the country that provides access to Oxford Reference Online, Cambridge Companions, Nobel laureates' presentations, meet the mentor and other such resources. It gives access to more than 13,000 electronic journals, 180,000 electronic theses from top universities of the world, and 200,000 e-books through eBrary facilitated by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan Digital Library.

Union Catalogue of Libraries in Punjab has been developed under the instructions of PITB Chairman Dr Umar Saif to provide one-widow access to bibliographic data of more than a million books available in the libraries of Punjab. This is the first initiative of its kind taken for the promotion of research and development in Pakistan.

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