AUTHOR:Riya Datta (Sengupta) and Dr. Biswajit Das
TITLE :THE 21ST CENTURY MOBILE LIBRARY: REDEFINING THE CONCEPT WITH RABINDRANATH TAGORE’S CHALANTIKA
ABSTRACT:: Rabindranath Tagore was one of the pioneers of education as well as of Indian Library Movement. He made pioneering efforts before Indian independence in the field of rural development, which started at Silaidaha, now in Bangladesh and took proper shape at Sriniketan, the poet’s laboratory for his work in relation to village upliftment. He wanted “to bring back life in its completeness into the villages, making them self-reliant and self-respectful, acquainted with the natural tradition of their own country and competent to make an efficient use of modern resources for improvement of their physical, intellectual and economic condition.” Some of these activities including the mobile library services are still continuing with some modifications according to the present day need. Rabindranath wrote only two articles on Library: “Library”, in the year 1908 and the other one “Function of a Library” in 1928. In these two articles, the concept of modern library and their ideal functions were distinctly stated in such a way that the Library of modern times not across much ahead in respect of introducing new functions and services except by inclusion of computers and information technology. Library in the words of Tagore was a repository of knowledge that had to be properly organized: The bigness of the library is estimated by the number of its volumes. In order to bring a library into the fullest use, it is necessary that its contents should be clearly and specifically brought to notice, otherwise it is difficult for the ordinary man to find his way about them, and the library is left as a city of vast accommodation that lacks sufficient means of communications. According to Tagore, library works very praiseworthy and he categorically mentioned about the functions of a librarian in this way: the librarian’s duty does not end with the acquisition, classification and care¬taking of the volumes in his charge. In other words, it is not exhausted by mere multiplication and division; he must have a proper understanding of his books as well. Tagore believed that librarian should always invite its readers to the library and should introduce readers on library books or collection. Thus he opened a new horizon of library services establishing the “Chalantika Library” in order to support his rural reconstruction activities at Sriniketan in 1925. Chalantika Library has become a burning example of mobile library services in India for building up a new society with quality of life for rural people. Since the creation, and especially since the beginning of the internet or Information Age, mobile libraries have adapted to changes in technology and clientele. A bookmobile or mobile library is a vehicle designed for use as a library. It is designed to hold books on shelves in such a way that when the vehicle is parked they can be accessed by readers. Tagore’s plan for the library was very unique not only in those days but also in the present time. He was in favour of ‘Community Education’ through the library. He had established a system of Community Education through Library at Sriniketan, which may be accepted as a model of ‘community development process’ and the ‘mass literacy movement’ and his ‘Chalantika’ as a modern mobile library.
KEYWORDS: Chalantika Library, Mobile, Sriniketan, Book Mobile.
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