KUCHING, Nov 9 (Bernama) -- A total of 13 village libraries will be in operation by end of next month to act as knowledge and social centres for the local communities, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan said on Monday.
He said that under the federal government funding, the projects included new buildings or renovations, furniture and fittings, information communication technology (ICT) components, library collections and two staff to manage the libraries.
He added that 23 village libraries were established in Sarawak from 2005 to 2007, and they continuously received books from the National Library.
"Under the federal development grant, 11 village libraries with ICT facilities were established together with three units of Multimedia Mobile Library for Kuching, Sarikei and Lawas," he said when tabling the Sarawak State Library (Amendment) Bill 2009 here at the state assembly here on Monday.
He said that over a hundred village libraries had benefited from enhanced ICT facilities under a Universal Service Provision (USP) programme financed by the federal government to bridge the digital divide between the urban and non-urban areas.
"The project was implemented in four phases, which began in 2003 until 2006. To date, there are 184 libraries in Sarawak which benefited from this programme."
Dr Chan said that as of Dec 31 last year, Sarawak had 247 static and nine mobile libraries.
He said that the Sarawak State Library (Amendment) Bill 2009 would further strengthen and upgrade the management of the Sarawak State Library in its function as a state library and state depository.
It was deemed appropriate to amend the relevant provisions in the Sarawak State Library Ordinance 1999 to put in place specific procedures to ensure proper preservation of the archives, he said.
The bill was later passed.