Public Library Management – Legislation

Earlier the public libraries were considered to be individual units under the government. According to this status, the laws of library were formed. The first library act came into existence in 1850 in Great Britain. Library legislation is a collection of laws related to managing a library.

Let us know more about public library legislation.

Benefits of Public Library Acts

A Library Act provides the following advantages −

●      It helps in establishing an organized public libraries network.

●      It provides sound library administration.

●      It helps to ensure steady financial aid.

●      It maintains proper coordination between administration and management departments of public libraries.

●      It helps in getting quality service by qualified personnel.

Public Library Legislation in India

Indian government constituted an advisory committee for public libraries in 1958. According to the committee proposal, the library legislation should help to −

●      Determine the role of the public library authorities in their development, functions, and maintenance.

●      Determine the role of government at various levels such as national, state, and district.

●      Provide stable financial support through library cess and a part of educational budget.

●      Determine public representatives and their participation at various levels of functioning.

The Public Library Act in India was enacted in 1948. This developed further but only a few states enacted this Act till 2009.

Press and Registration Act

This act came was enacted in 1867. This was created with an aim to help the government to regulate printing-presses, newspapers, and other printed knowledge resources in India; and also to preserve their copies, and register them.

This Indian Law is the oldest one pertaining to printing and publishing. This regulatory law was aimed to enable the government to regulate printing presses and newspapers and other matter printed in India. The Act underwent numerous amendments from time to time.

The major amendment was made in the Act according to the recommendations of the First Press Commission (FPC) in 1953. The FPC created the Office of the Registrar of Newspapers of India (RNI) and determined the scope of its duties and functions. The RNI started functioning in 1956. The Act states all the particulars required to be printed on books and newspapers, and the declarations required to be made by a printing press keeper.

Delivery of Books in Public Library Act

This act is applicable for publications under government authority. According to this act −

●      The publisher is obliged to deliver a copy of the book to the National Library (Calcutta) and one such copy to each of the other three public libraries within thirty days from the date of its publication at his own expense.

●      The copy delivered to the National Library must be complete in terms of maps, illustrations, and the content, finished and colored on the best paper, and bound, sewed or stitched together.

●      The copy delivered to any other public library shall be in the ready condition for sale.

●      The authorized recipient of the book copy in return shall give a written receipt to the publisher.

●      Cognizance of offences − No court shall take cognizance of any offence punishable under this act on complaint made by an empowered officer.

●      No court inferior to that of a presidency magistrate or a magistrate shall try any offence punishable under this act.

The Central Government may make rules to practice the purpose of this Act.

Copyright Act of India

This act is the first post-independence copyright legislation in India. This was enacted in 1957. The act was amended six times. It gives right to the creators, composers, writers, authors, and the producers of sound and video recordings.

The following types of works come under the purview of the Copyright Act −

●      Literature

●      Music/Sound Recordings

●      Drama

●      Films

●      Artistic work

●      Cinematographic work

●      Government work

●      Anonymous work

The rights provided under the Copyright Act cover the reproduction of work, communication with the public, and translation of works.

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