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Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation (RRRLF)


1. Introduction: Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation was set up by the government of India in 1972 as an autonomous body under the then Department of Culture, Ministry of Education and Social Welfare with its head quarters in Calcutta (Kolkata). The foundation was established on the occasion of the bicentenary of Raja Rammohun Roy who raised the banner of revolt against obscurantism in the society and devoted his life to fight against injustice. RRRLF is registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961. RRRLF functions as a promotional agency, an advisory and consultancy organization, a funding body for public library development in India.

2. Objectives: The major objectives of the foundation are as follows:-
i) To promote library movement in the country.
ii) To enunciate a national library policy and to help build up a national library system.
iii) To provide financial and technical assistance to libraries.
iv) To provide financial assistance to organisations, regional or national engaged in the promotion of library development.
v) To publish appropriate literature and to act as a clearing house of ideas and information on library development in India and abroad.
vi) To promote research in problems of library development.
vii) To advise the government on all matters pertaining to the library development in the country.

3. Organization: The foundation consists of 22 members nominated by the Government of India from amongst eminent educationists, librarians, administrators and senior officials. The Minister of the Department of Culture, Government of India or his nominee is the Chairman of RRRLF. Director General is the executive head and ex-officio Member-Secretary of the Foundation. The Foundation functions in each State/Union Territory through a machinery called State Library Committee (SLC). Indian Library Association is represented on the foundation. In addition, four eminent librarians are also its member. As on 23rd February, 2017, Shri Brij Kishore Sharma is the Chairman and Dr. Arun Kumar Chakraborty is the Director General (Member Secretary) of RRRLF.

4. Functions: Some of the activities of the foundation are mentioned below.
a) Assistance Programme: RRRLF provide book and financial assistance to the public libraries under different schemes of assistance in collaboration with Library Department or Department in charge of Public Library Services. The grants are of two types-
i) Matching: Assistance under these programmes is given from the resources shared on matching basis with the States/Union Territory Administrations. For developed States 50: 50, Developing and lagging states 60: 40 & North-Eastern States 90: 10.
ii) Non-Matching: Assistance under these schemes is given fully from the Foundation's own resources.
b) Promotion of District Youth Resource Centres (DYRCs): Since 2005-06 the Foundation has also taken up the initiative to develop the District Youth Resource Centre (DYRC) in collaboration with Nehru Yuvak Kendra Sangathana, an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs. The DYRCs are assisted in various activities.
c) Promotional Activities: It has played a major role in the preparation of National Policy on Library & Information System. It has also issued guidelines on public library systems and services. Raja Rammohun Roy Memorial Lecture by a scholar of eminence is an annual feature of anniversary celebrations for the Foundation. RRRLF also interacts with many national and international professional associations like IFLA, ILA, IASLIC and different state level library associations. It also organized many seminars and conferences.
d) Awards: To disseminate innovative, new concepts and ideas for the development of Public Library Services and system in the country through research oriented activities, the Foundation introduced Annual Raja Rammohun Roy Award to the best contributor of an article covering the area of development of Public Library Systems and Services or suggesting measures for promotion of reading habit.
            The Foundation has also undertaken a programme of giving seven awards annually - one for the best State Central Library and six for the best District Libraries of six regions in the country. Since 2005 the Foundation also instituted RRRLF Best Rural Library Awards   - one per each state.
            The Foundation institutes “RRRLF Fellowship” to offer fellowship to five eminent men and women in the field of Library Services who have contributed to the library movement in the country through active involvement in the movement, organizational initiative or intellectual leadership or are dedicated to the propagation of reading habit among the masses.
e) Research Project: Besides carrying on Research Projects on public library or allied subject, the Research Cell renders advisory and consultancy services whenever required. It has prepared and published a report on loss of books in libraries for the Government of India. About 5000 important books and journals on Library & Information Science and allied fields have been acquired in the library.
f) Modernisation Programme: The Foundation has installed computers in its Computer Section for building-up data-bank of Public Libraries for the country. The Foundation's computer unit is intended to give information storage, retrieval and data processing support for all the application areas. As a step towards modernisation and to become a fully automated institution, the Foundation has upgraded its computer system with inter office LAN. The INTERNET connectivity and E-mail facility has been installed in the office of the Foundation through National Informatics Centre. The Scheme of Central Selection has since been computerised fully; other activities are on the way of being fully computerised.
g) Publication: RRRLF has brought out a number of publications. The significant publications are
i) Granthana, Indian Journal of Library Studies (bi-annual).
ii) Indian Libraries: Trends and Perspectives
iii) Raja Rammohun Roy and the New Learning
iv) Directory of Indian Public Libraries
v) RRRLF Newsletter (bi-monthly)
vi) Annual Report
vii) Books for the Millions at their Doorsteps (Information Manual)

5. Conclusion: RRRLF is an autonomous organization under Dept of Culture, Govt of India and it provides book assistance (matching and non matching grants) and financial assistance to different kinds of public libraries. The Foundation has taken long strides in promoting library services in the country. The foundation has covered over thirty one thousand libraries at different levels.  The Granthana act as an official publication of RRRLF.

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