The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka recently announced the 25th Digital Library launch at Kirimetiyawa Public Library, Wennapuwa. The initiative is a part of the ‘Digital Libraries’ project launched in collaboration between the National Library and Documentation Services Board (NLDSB) of Sri Lanka. Under this project, twenty-five (25) model digital libraries were established, covering all districts in Sri Lanka.
The project aims to address the rapid changes in reading habits of the ‘modern-day’ readers by providing efficient and quick access to global reading materials efficiently and effectively. Furthermore, the initiative is a part of the broader national digital transformation strategy under the ICTA ‘Digital Government Pillar’ to improve processes, design, and offer library services with citizens’ needs in mind, to serve citizens better to provide a convenient and efficient experience.
One of this project’s key objectives is to introduce an integrated library management system which ensures a user-friendly, advanced, and cost-effective automated solution. The libraries are provided with the widely used ‘Koha’ Integrated Library Management System and modern digital infrastructure.
Furthermore, development includes; access to freely available electronic materials via modern digital devices, a customized integrated library management system to manage all functions and workflows within the library, tablets with access to e-newspapers and e-journals, and tablets with a stylus for children’s creative education. Furthermore, services such as scanning, printing, and photocopying enable users to store information as they wish. A network connects the equipment with high-speed internet.
Mr. Kanchana Thudugala, Chief Digital Government officer of ICTA stated, “it is a timely initiative implemented by ICTA in collaboration with the NLDSB. We thank the NLDSB for collaborating with us on this project. Libraries are the epicenter of enhancing the knowledge of the young generation. Therefore, it is paramount that we ensure our next generation has access to a global knowledge base. The facilities of digitalized libraries ensure children have access to a global knowledge base, foster technology adoption at an early age, and help reduce the digital divide across regions.”
This initiative is one of the many initiatives spearheaded by the Digital Government vertical of ICTA in line with a long-term road map for digitalizing the government sector services. Many projects are underway to create the necessary infrastructure of shared solutions, platforms, technology, and processes to build valuable user-focused services and improve the ease of doing business through policy reforms and integrated services focusing on business needs. Thereby ensuring efficiency when transacting with the government.
Standing from left to right:
Ms. Surangika Priyadarshani, Library Assistant, Ms.Kaushali Chandima, Library Assistant, Ms. W.P.Rangi Ishara, Librarian Ms.Pavithra Wijethunga, Assistant Project Manager, ICTA, Mr.Kithsiri Abeywickrama, The Chairman, Community Development, Wennappuwa Prasdeshiya Sabha, Mr. K.O. Kalum Priyankara Jayasinghe, Chairman, Weligepola Pradeshiya Sabha, Prof. Nanda Dharamratha, Chiarman,National Library and Documentation Services Board, Mr.Susantha Perera, Chairman, Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Sabha, Mr. Kanchana Thudugala, Chief Digital Government Officer, ICTA , Mr.Mahinda Prasad Masilmbula, Author, Mr. W.Sunil, Director General, National library and Documentation Services Board, Ms.Crisantha Rathnasekara, Commiunity Development Officer, Ms. Himali Buddhika ,Sub officer VC Wennapuwa Pradeshiya Sabha
Mr. Kasun Bandara Productivity Officer Wennapuwa Pradeshiya Sabha, Ms. Iromi wijesundara, Assistant Director, National library and Documentation Services Board.