With more than 1.7 crores of free e-content across many disciplines available online, the Karnataka Digital Library today is one of the largest consulted libraries in the world on a daily basis as recorded in the World Book of Records, London.
The rate at which the world is moving towards all things digital calls for a complete transformation of libraries. From simply providing books, these spaces should transform into interactive centers catering to the various aspects of social and professional life. While Karnataka has embarked on the right track, sustaining the project with additional resources will be key. Sufficient funds, diversity of content, and compatible digital infrastructure will help provide bookworms easy access to titles and authors.
The project, the first of its kind in the country, started on a small scale to reach out to readers during the Covid lockdown and has now turned into a coveted platform due to its multiple contents. Anyone with access to a computer, tab or smartphone can avail free library membership and start reading our content not only in Kannada but also in English and other Indian languages.” Satishkumar S HosamaniDirector of the Public Libraries Department.
The department has also made provisions for digitally challenged readers to access digital content in 372 libraries across Karnataka. “All of these libraries, including 100 in Bengaluru, are equipped with computers and tablets for the digitally disabled or any other reader to access our digital content. So far, on a daily basis, we keep adding 25-50 books.
Digitization of all libraries and provision of infrastructure has cost Rs 4.6 crore,” Hosamani explained. The department has collaborated with other stakeholders like CBSE, NCERT, universities, All India Radio archives and provides access to content, including video lessons, simulated lab experiments, journals, periodicals, audio clips and YouTube links Lectures by experienced persons.
Because of this diverse content, the digital library has begun to be used by more readers, students, job aspirants, and researchers. As of today, out of 1.7 crore pieces of content, more than 40 lakh are widely used by students and job aspirants,” said an official of the department.
To help students prepare for Syllabus and other competitive exams like JEE, NEET, CET, many contents have been uploaded by topic in multiple languages. Students from Class 1 to Class 10 can watch these educational videos and refer to books.
In Kannada alone, we have more than 4200 textbooks and nearly 1000 videos. If any student misses practical lessons in any discipline, he or she can try it out in the simulation lab. Students can evaluate themselves by answering the model examination papers and quizzes available on the app.”
By making use of the free content, not only children excelled in studies but youths also succeeded in passing competitive exams and getting jobs. Many alumni benefit from the content tomakoro The digital library has completed the headmaster’s exams. Even a few of them passed the KAS exams conducted by KPSC.”
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