Punjab Library Association
Punjab Library Association (PLA) is one of the earliest library associations formed in India. Its roots can be traced back in th pre-independnce era to the year 1916. This year Dr. A.C. Woolner, Honorary University Librarian, Punjab University, Lahore took inititive to form PLA. Another first of this PLA was the publication of a manual entitled Punjab Library Primer in the year 1916. This manual was published by PLA to give practical training to the new entrants to the profession which was still in its infacncy in India. Other firsts of PLA include starting of a first journal in library science in India entitled `Modern Librarian' in 1930. Later the journal was taken over by the Indian Library Association. Dewey College of Librarianship was also started by PLA in 1937. Partition of Punjab in 1947 caused a severe blow to the rich libraries in Punjab, the library community, and the PLA.
PLA was rehabilitated at the first book festival of Shimla (then Simla) in 1948. It shifted its headquarters to Chandigarh in 1952. PLA remained very active during 1950's, 1960's, and early 1970's. It organised seminars, brought awareness among people towards libraries, organised book festival and national library week, published quality literature (books and journals), championed the cause of libraries and library staff, and conducted certificate course in library science. A court case against PLA election held in 1974 caused the second severe blow to this association. As a resut of the court case and the deteriorating political atmosphere, it remained inactive for about a decade and a half.
The enterprising punjabi spirit again demonstrated its strngth when a group of librarians met in January 1989 to enroll new members for PLA.The political atmosphere in the state was very bad, and terrorism had still not faded away. Even in such conditions, as a result of the January 1989 meeting and enrollment of new members, elections were held in May 1989 and the PLA was rejuvenated.
Today the rejuvenated PLA is an active association of library professionals in the state with a rich legacy for guidance, and a forward looking attitude for meeting its objectives.
Though PLA was originally founded in 1916, it was rejuvenated in 1989 as a state level profesional and voluntary body without profit motive to :
1. Promote library movement in Punjab
2. Work for the enactment of library legislation for the proper development of library service and better administration of libraries in the state; establishment, growth, development, and maintenance of libraries in the state
3. Organise library talks, lectures, meetings, conferences, seminars, book festivals for dissemination of knowledge
4. Unite all persons engaged or interested in library and infomation service
5. Promote whatever may tend to the improvement of the position and qualifications of library staff & Produce library literature
6. Organise and conduct training classes for librarians, library professional assistants and semi-professionals working in libraries
7. Promote research in library and information science
PLA is a democratically structured organisation. The general body of members biennially elects 9 office-bearers and 7 divisional convenors to the executive council. The offices of the Association are :
Senior Vice-President,Vice-Presidents (3),
Joint Secretaries (2),
(i) (Organisation and Technical Services)
(ii) (Public Relations and Legal Matters),
One Divisional Convenor each represents members working in:
Government Departmental Libraries,
School libraries, and
Library & information science departments
The Executive Committee manages the affairs of the Association, subject to the control of the General Body. The Executive committee can appoint any sub-committee with powers to co-opt members in connection with any special work.