Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

An Intimacy with Students' Perceptions of the Sub-Divisional Library, Kalimpong

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

An Intimacy with Students' Perceptions of the Sub-Divisional Library, Kalimpong

Article excerpt

1.Introduction

The public library plays an important role in all aspects of educational process. Public libraries, which are considered the Peoples' University does occupy a significant place in informal education in our country. The present day education systems have witnessed many changes. Education of the individual is essential for the development of his mind and capacity to make sound and nature judgments and thus they play the role of an enlightened, responsible and well informed citizen. Thought the importance of formal education, through schools, colleges and universities is of prime importance in this regard, the significance of "informal education" or "self-education can't be ruled out, because the process of education does not and with ones formal education only, rather real education starts at the point where formal education ends. One study that provides evidence of the importance of the public library to learning is reported in Summer Learning and the Effects of Schooling (Heyns 1978). Though, not a study of public libraries, her investigation of the factors that influence learning of sixth and seventh graders when schools are closed found that, "The single summer activity that is most strongly and consistently related to summer learning is reading. Whether reading is measured by the number of books read, by the time spent reading, or by the regularity of library usage, it increases the vocabulary test scores of children". Her conclusion that "at least one institution, the public library, directly influences children's reading" was the basis for her recommendation that "educational policies that increase access to books (perhaps through increased library services) stand to have an important impact on achievement, particularly for less advantaged children". (Fitzgibbons, 2000).

The process of self-education is life-long which requires no classroom attendance and have the individuals to read whatever they like and at a time and place convenient to them. A public library undoubtedly is the most suitable place or institution for this purpose wherever it operates. Public libraries are now to be considered as an important learning resource centre, existing to support the teaching and learning process to a great extent.

2.Kalimpong at a glance

There are two spurs of the Himalayas in Darjeeling hill, West Bengal, one in the west running from north to south. On this spur the beautiful hill resort, "the queen of hill stations" called Darjeeling is situated. The other spur is in the east across the Teesta river. On the lower spur is Kalimpong, a small but attractive hill station. The word Kalimpong in Tibetan means "the stockade of Kings Ministers" form the two Tibetan words "Kalon" meaning Kings Ministers and "Pong" meaning stockade. Some scholars translate "Pong" as Assembly, in which case Kalimpong would mean "The Assembly of Kings Ministers". It is also called "Kalibong" or the black spur by the hill people. "Kalibong" in local dialects stands for "Kaulim" a fibrous plant which grows in abundance in this region. The meaning that has found the most favour, however, is the Lepcha meaning of the name - "ridge where we play". It is said that Lepcha tribesman used to organize field sports while not engaged in agricultural pursuits - hence the name. Situated at a height of 1,182 metres / 3,456 ft. and between the latitudes 26051' & 27012'N and longitudes 88028' & 88053'E Kalimpong was first known as the Dalingkot subdivision of Western Duars District and in 1866 it was transferred to Darjeeling District. The area of the sub-division is 1056.5 sq. km and is bounded in the north by Sikkim and in the east by Bhutan. Kalimpong is an area of mixed inhabitants consisting mainly of Nepalese, Lepchas, Bhutias, Tibetans, Marwaris, Beharis and Bengalis. Nepali is the "lingua franca" of these hill people. Most of the Nepalese follow Hindu religion the rest are Buddhists, Christians and Muslims. (O'Malley, 1907)

Kalimpong has a very mild and temperate climate. …

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