State Minister Ranasinghe launches project to set up 50 e-libraries to supplement online education

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Provincial Councils and Local Government Affairs State Minister Roshan Ranasinghe has launched a project to set up 50 e-libraries immediately to supplement online education of schoolchildren and to serve adult readers hit by the pandemic-driven constraints that prevent visit to libraries.

Ministry sources said that Rs 150 million had been allocated for the commencing of 50 e-libraries as a pilot project and it would be expanded in the next couple of months. There would be robust eResources, including academic library databases, magazines and newspapers, catalogues of collections, academic journals, eBooks, and streaming media. As classes shifted online and online education is being promoted as one of the primary means to promote distance education, the e-library services would help solve the problem confronted by the schoolchildren and adult readers to visit libraries in their hometowns.

Minister Ranasinghe said that as the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, most Governments had temporarily closed all educational institutions. “Such closures have impacted 90 percent of the world’s student population and millions of adult learners. As a result of the pandemic, there is a transition to distance learning on an unprecedented scale. Schools, universities and other educational institutes are racing to shift their courses online; students are engaging en masse with e-books and e-learning; and researchers are drawing chiefly on electronic journals. As an emergency response, we have decided to promote e-libraries,” the Minister said.

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