Senate panel okays National Library Bill

ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Education, according its approval to the National Library Bill 2010, has unanimously asked the government to present it before the Parliament to get it approved within two months. The proposed bill seeks to acquire, preserve and organize published literary heritage in printed and non-printed format originated in Pakistan (under the Copyright Law), produced by Pakistanis abroad, or published abroad in relation to Pakistan. The meeting of the committee held on Tuesday at the Parliament House under the Chairmanship of Senator S. M. Zafar. Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali, Advisor to the PM on Education was also present at the event. The members of the committee who attended the meeting included Senator Dr. Abdul Khaliq Pirzada, Najma Hameed and Hafiz Rasheed. The chairperson of the committee said that libraries in Pakistan are currently functioning under the Ministry of Education and the Provincial Governments, but after the passing of this bill by the Parliament, the libraries will be administered by the Federal Government, and a separate fund would be allocated for them. The Ministry of Education has been directed to present the bill before the Parliament for its legislation. This will help maintain a universal collection of human knowledge as per the national requirements besides acting as an agency for the National Bibliographic Control and to facilitate a nationwide act to library resources available in Pakistan and abroad. Dr. Zafar highlighted the importance of libraries in dissemination of knowledge and promotion of a reading culture in the country. He said that the National Library will consist of a main library and branch libraries at Islamabad, and of such other branch libraries/offices and mobile libraries established in the country with the approval of the Federal Government. The members of the Committee fully endorsed the Chairs views on the significance of libraries and expressed their resolve to facilitate the establishment of libraries all over the country. They hoped that such an effort would promote reading habits, modify extreme behaviour and help bring about a healthy change in the peoples attitudes, approaches and outlook to life.

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