1972 was a significant year in the history of library movement in India. The country was celebrating the silver jubilee of its independence from the British Administration in 1972. Coincidentally it was an International Book Year with the slogan of ‘Books For All’ emphasizing promotion of reading habits among the masses. Not only that, it was the auspicious occasion of the bicentennial birth anniversary of an Indian social reformer, who stressed the need for modern education for the development of the nation. In this August year, Raja Rammohun Roy Library (RRRLF) came into being in May 1972 (RRRLF;1997;1). It is the nodal agency of Government of India to support public library services and systems and promote public library movement in the country. Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation is an autonomous organization, established and sponsored by the Department of Culture, Government of India. It is registered under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961. Its headquarters is located at Kolkata. In view of the expanding activities, the Foundation has opened zonal offices under the Assistant Field Officers for monitoring the impact and implementation of the assistance rendered by the Foundation such as-Eastern Zonal Office at Calcutta; Northern Zonal Office at New Delhi; Southern Zonal Office at Chennai and Western Zonal Office at Mumbai.
Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation is a national agency for the promotion of library services in general and public library services in particular (Jayaswal;1997;223). The main objective of the Foundation (RRRLF;1997;1) is to promote and support public library movement in the country by providing adequate library services and by developing reading habits all over the country with the active co-operation of State Government and Union Territories and of Voluntary Organizations operating in the field of library services, cultural activities, adult education and the like. Objectives of the Foundation may be listed as below:
•To promote library movement in the country;
•To enunciate a national library policy and to help build up a national library system;
•To provide financial and technical assistance to libraries;
•To provide financial assistance to organizations, regional or national engaged in the promotion of library development;
•To publish appropriate literature and to act as a clearing house of ideas and information on library development in India and abroad;
•To promote research in problems of library development;
•To advise the government on all matters pertaining to the library development in the country; and
•To propagate the adoption of library legislation in the country. (RRRLF/Objectives).
The Foundation promotes public library services rendering book and financial assistance to the public libraries under different schemes of assistance. The scheme of assistance is of two types, wise, Matching and Non-Matching schemes.
Assistance under Matching Scheme is given from the resources shared on matching basis with the States/Union Territory Administrations on the basis of developed states 50;50; developing and lagging states 60;40 and the North-Eastern States 90;10.This revised matching scheme is effective from 2005. The Matching assistance can be given to achieve its main objectives for:
•Assistance towards building up of adequate stock of books and reading materials.
•Assistance towards development of rural book deposit centre and mobile library services.
•Assistance towards organization of seminars, workshops, training courses (orientation/refresher) and book exhibition.
•Assistance towards storage and display of books including reading room furniture.
•Assistance to public libraries below district level for increasing accommodation.
•Assistance to public libraries below State Central Libraries to acquire TV- cum-VCP sets for educational purposes/Computer for library application (networking of Public Libraries below State Central Libraries).
•Assistance towards Networking of Public Libraries. (RRRLF/Activities)
The Foundation fully gives assistance under this scheme from his own resources to implement its objectives for: •Assistance towards building up of adequate stock of books through central selection.
•Assistance to voluntary organizations (NGOs) providing public library services
•Assistance to children libraries or children’s section of general public libraries including women section and senior citizen section.
•Assistance to public libraries toward celebration of 50 years, 100 years and 125 years.
•Assistance towards collection and compilation of library statistics through official and non-official agencies.
•Assistance to centrally sponsored libraries.
•Assistance towards organization of seminars/conferences by national level library organizations.
•Assistance towards the establishment of children’s corner. (RRRLF/Activities)