The libraries of government schools in New Delhi will now wear a new look with the launch of a mega book fair in the national capital from where these schools can procure books for their libraries through a transparent process.

Open till February 2, the first ever mega book fair was inaugurated by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on January 20. Inaugurating the book fair, Sisodia reiterated the need for inculcating good reading habits in children which in turn will become life changers.

“Libraries can function as real resource centres where innovative learning can take place. They provide a joyful ambience where students can spend precious time browsing through books to enhance their knowledge. Decades of research show the connection between reading engagement and reading achievement,” Director, Department of Education, Saumya Gupta said.

According to reports, a total of 2,136 books from 81 publishers were shortlisted for display at the fair, organised in the government-run Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in Dwarka sector 22.

With the objective to enhance the libraries in all government schools, Sisodia in the 2017-18 budget, had proposed a three-tier Library System in the government school libraries and had earmarked an amount of INR 17 crores for procurement of books and INR 100 crores for library infrastructure.

According to the three-tier Library System, a class library in every Pre- primary and Primary section will be opened. Separate libraries for Class VI to X to be opened in selected 400 schools. The existing libraries in schools will be modernised to cater to all students.

To make the process of procuring books by schools in a transparent way, the Directorate of Education has earlier invited publishers in different categories such as pre-primary and primary secondary classes for book readings. A total of 1,921 publishers had submitted their books under pre-primary, primary, secondary and senior secondary categories.

The transparent way to procure books was introduced as schools earlier were buying books as per their choice and there was no proper mechanism to ensure standardization of quality books across schools.

With this new mechanism, the Directorate of Education will ensure quality books are being purchased across 1024 schools. The entire process from selection of books up to the payment to the Publishers will be done through an online module set up especially for this purpose.

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