India: Shivamogga central prison to soon get digital library

SHIVAMOGGA: The Central Prison in Shivamogga will soon have a digital library on its campus. The jail is already home to a library which has a collection of over 10,000 books.

With the jail authorities organising ‘Savira Rupaiya Saradara’ — a quiz programme for the inmates — the library has seen an increase in footfall. According to them, the number of visitors to the library has increased from an average of 40-50 per day to 160-170.

Now, the jail authorities are planning to set up a digital library with support from the Department of Libraries.

Chief librarian (in-charge) Premalatha said, “We have requested the deputy commissioner to provide us with five computers to set up the digital library. As part of this, we will install a library software through which the jail inmates can access various books, including NCERT textbooks, which will help them prepare for various competitive exams.”

According to sources, many inmates are pursuing BA and MA courses through distance education mode offered by Kuvempu University. The varsity has been providing education free of cost to the inmates.

The proposed digital library will also provide inmates access to NCERT books, newspapers, e-journals and e-books. Also, novels in different languages, including Kannada, English and Hindi, will be made available for the inmates.

According to chief jail superintendent Dr P Ranganath, the digital library will give the inmates an opportunity to pursue education or continue their education during their punishment period.

“They can also gain knowledge by reading books, magazines and newspapers. Books always have an influence on the reader … It makes the reader think on various issues and could help in changing one’s behaviour,” he said.

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