Over 500 libraries to get digital boost in Tamil Nadu soon- The New Indian Express

Over 500 libraries to get digital boost in Tamil Nadu soon- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

CHENNAI: In a first across the country, 152 virtual reality devices worth Rs 65.54 lakh have been introduced in 76 libraries across the State. This aims to give readers an enhanced reading experience and also attract children into the world of books.

The directorate of public libraries additionally plans to provide internet connection at all the libraries, introduce digital library facilities in 500 libraries based on footfall and also start doorstep delivery of books.

“We have trained 155 librarians on how to use the virtual reality devices. In Chennai, it is at Alwarpet circle library and Ashok Nagar library. The students will be able to experience what they studied in the books. We hope this will bring more children to the libraries,” said V Dinesh Kumar, officer at the Anna Centenary Library.

“Most of the students visit the library on weekends. We give them a little activity after which they are allowed to use the virtual reality devices. All the students over 12 years enjoy the experience,” said R Kalaimani, assistant librarian at Alwarpet Circle Library. Each library has been provided with two VR devices.

“I know I am inside the library. But I am scared to walk because the experience is so real. We are able to understand space and other concepts better through VR,” said a student, after trying out VR. This is the first time in the country that virtual reality is being introduced in libraries, said officials.

The director is also planning to introduce digital libraries in 500 libraries across the State. At present, only Anna Centenary library has a digital library with more than 3,000 books. However, this is still in the discussion stage and funds will be allocated soon, said the officials.

Another big initiative has been planned by the director to take reading to each home. Titled ‘Noolaga Nangbargal’ this scheme aims to start a program to deliver books. “Volunteers will be chosen from the members of libraries and even from resident welfare associations and other such organisations. These initiatives will help us encourage people to get into a reading habit,” said a senior official at the directorate.

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