The Digital Library Service, a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, was inaugurated in Deputy Commissioner G Jagadheesha in Udupi on Thursday.
Department of Public Libraries Director Dr Satishkumar S Hosamani, addressing gathering at ZP Hall, said 79,000 digital portals, 5,000 periodicals in English and Kannada languages, video clippings, text books of NCERT and CBSE from class 1 to class 12th were now accessible online free of charge.
The digital service will be available in 272 libraries, including 176 libraries in taluks, across the state. The next phase of digitalisation will cover slum libraries, children’s community centers, travelling libraries and rural libraries.
He said there were 7,000 libraries for 6.5 crore people in Karnataka. Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand and Rajasthan with a combined population of over 27 crore, have 78, 38 and 68 libraries respectively, he said and added that the libraries of the Karnataka government were a model to other states.
Jagadheesha said digitalisation of library would help in dissemination of knowledge and information at a faster pace.
The deputy commissioner said that the readers could access books through the new facility. The books and other journals will be available in the digital format, he added.
Jagadeesha said digitalisation would enhance the usage of libraries.
MLA Raghupathi Bhat, who inaugurated the three-day workshop organised for staff of libraries in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada and Uttara Kannada districts, said the workshop would help staff on improving the quality of service.
He also lauded the Constitution Day celebrations organised by the Department of Libraries and added that it was the responsibility of every citizen to respect and know the Constitution.
Bhat said many citizens in India, who were ignorant about the Constitution, are indulging in anti-national activities. He said the Constitution Day should serve the sacred purpose of patriotism. The MLA said the digitalisation was an attempt to get children to develop a passion for reading and diverting them away from cell phones. A new library will be built in Ajjarkadu and will be soon opened, he added.