Around 85% of the total population of Pakistan do not opt to go to libraries. This was informed by the speakers during a one-day seminar held at Sahibzada Abdul Qayum Hall University of Peshawar to mark World Book and Copyright Day organized by Peshawar University Campus Libraries Association on Tuesday.
It was also informed that around 220 public libraries were operational in the country and only one library was available for every eight hundred thousand people. This they added was a very discouraging situation and shows the declining trend in the reading habits of the nation. Vice Chancellor UoP Prof Dr. Muhammad Rasul Jan was the chief guest.
Universities were industries of knowledge creation and knowledge comes from reading books and research journals, said the Vice Chancellor in his address. He said yes he agrees that reading habits had decreased over the past few years, adding that books must be purchased to encourage the authors. Copyright was a very big issue all over the world and special steps were needed to be taken to give author and publishers full benefits of their efforts, he said.
Prof Jan urged the campus librarians to take all out measures to promote reading habits among varsity students. In the modern era and age of ever changing IT technology, the use of E-books had increased and Librarians must ensure that students were equipped with the requisite skills to take maximum benefits from it.
Earlier the President Peshawar University Libraries Association (PUCLA) said that the function was organized to pay tribute to intellectuals, writers and encourage publishing of books. He added whatever material is available online is a product of books and published material in one form and the other. He showed his association resolves to take the message of improving reading habits to the local populations by conducting awareness drives. The seminar was followed by a walk highlighting reading habits as integral for national development.