Title of the document Annual General Body Meeting will be held on 23rd September, 2023 in Guwahati.

1. Introduction: The Assam Library Association (Asom Puthibharal Sangha) was started on 1st January, 1938 (1st January is officially accepted as exact date is not known) mainly by the personal enthusiasm of Shri Kumudeswar Borthakur (1893-1966), a man who devoted his life for the growth and development of libraries in Assam. He was fully assisted in the matter of public library services by Ayadhya Prasad Goswami, Benudhar Sarma, Tankeswar Chutia, Tirthnath Sarma, Suren Bharali, Purna Goswami, Harendra Nath Baruah, Bharat Ratna Lokapriya Gopinath Bardoloi- the first Chief Minister of Assam and other political and social workers. By establishing this Association, Assam became the 8th state in country in establishing state level library association. After the executive meeting held on 16th July 1972 ALA became inactive till 1996. However, on 22nd February, 1997 it got revived with a full-fledged executive council.

2. Aims and Objectives: The aims and objectives of the Association are as follows
i) To promote establishment of libraries, development of libraries, library movement, library science education, extension of library services and publication of bibliographical tools in the state of Assam;
ii) To hold meetings, conferences, seminars, training programme, and to organize book festivals and book exhibitions for the development and propagation of ideas on Library Science and Library Service;
iii) To promote the formation of district, sub-divisional and other local Library Associations and to affiliate them to itself;
iv) To work for the promotion of legislation conducive to or necessary for the establishment, development, maintenance, regulation and management of the public library system and of the other library systems in the state;
v) To raise and accept grants, subsidies, gifts and endowments etc for the furtherance of the aims and objectives of the association and to collect funds for the association by way of membership fees, donations, contribution etc.
vi) To acquire, by purchase, lease or otherwise, all kinds of property, movable and immovable, and to construct and maintain buildings thereon for the purposes of the association and to improve, develop, manage, sell, lease, mortgage or otherwise deal with all or any part of the properties of the Association;
vii) To borrow and raise money as deemed fit and to invest the money of the association, not immediately required, in such manner as may from time to time be determined by the Executive Committee of the Association.
viii) To enter into any arrangement with Government, local or other authorities and bodies which may seem conducive to the furtherance of all or any of the aims and objectives of the Association and to obtain from such sources any rights, privileges, assistance and concessions which may be deemed fit or desirable by the Association; and
ix) To do all such other things as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above mentioned aims and objectives.

3. Organization: The General Body is the supreme body of the Association in respect of all the affairs of the Association. The General Body from among the members by ballot or by the process the general body decides selects the office bearers of the ALA. The tenure of office of the office-bearers is two years. The executive committee of the ALA consists of the office bearer i.e. president, working president, two vice-presidents, general secretary, two assistant general secretary, office secretary, treasurer and seven representative from libraries and departments and representative from Division of Assam Library Association.
Each state or district level library association in Assam that works in the areas of Public Libraries, College Libraries, School Libraries, University Libraries, Library Science Schools/ Departments, Special and Technical Libraries, Rural Libraries can become a Division of Assam Library Association.
ALA is having the provision of Annual Member, Institutional / Association Member, Life Member, Donor, Patron and Honorary Member.

4. Making People Aware: After the birth of ALA an attempt was made for a wide publicity of the library movement through different avenues like Bihu- one of the important Assamese festivals in the Indian state of Assam, public meeting, advertisement through the screen of Kelvin Cinema, Guwahati- a theatre that shaped the Assam’s cinematic tradition and others. With the help of daily newspapers and using the market places people were sought to be made aware of the library movement. Children were encouraged to demand books from their parents on the occasion of their birthday or as reward for good performance in examination.  The lower income groups of people were approached for small contribution through “mustibhiksha”, which was a unique way of collecting handful of grains and the money thus collected from the sale of the grains was to be spent on libraries.

5. Organization of Rural Libraries: In the 1st conference of Assam Library Association in 1938 hardly 50 libraries were recorded to have been engaged in library work throughout the villages of Assam and during the span of 10 years (1938-1948) Mr. Kumudeswar Borthakur organized 250 libraries. Between May-July, 1971 ALA helps in establishing Goalpara, Tezpur, Jorhat, Nagaon, Nalbari, Barpeta, Dibrugarh, Mangoldoi, Guwahati Mahkuma Committee for carrying out its activities but in the subsequent years it did not give much fruitful result. The Association, further, at its “Granthalok” of 1972/73 listed 169 rural libraries of Assam with detailed address (Granthalok, 1973, p.81-87) that were affiliated to ALA.

6. Draft Public Library Act: On the invitation of the 8th conferences (1964) of the All Assam Library Association held at Gauhati under the chairmanship of Pandit Professor (Dr.) Maheswar Neog, Dr. S. R. Ranganathan prepared a Draft Public Libraries Act for Assam which was submitted to the Government and further in the 9th Annual conference held at Guwahati on 9, 10 and 11th April, 1971 reiterated its earlier demand but it has not got any fruitful result till now. The Draft Public Library Act was published in the Souvenir of Assam Library Association of 1971. Again, since 1998 attempt has continuously been made to enact the library legislation in Assam. A draft Assam State Public Library and Information Bill made by a Govt-appointed committee has been submitted but till now it is not accepted.

7. ALA Members: The life membership of ALA phenomenally increased during the General Secretaryship of Dr. Badan Barman. It was during his secretaryship the existing life members become 150 from the existing 79 till 2018. Again, during his secretaryship, 5 colleges in Assam opted for the institutional membership of ALA.

8. Dedicated Website for Colleges: The Executive Body of ALA during 2018-2020 launched Examination Question Papers (http://eqp.ala.net.in) website that host 600+ old / previous question papers of HS Arts, Commerce and Science of AHSEC and BA and B.Sc. programme of Gauhati University. It also launched Open Access Journals (http://oaj.ala.net.in) website that links to 1009 high quality open access journals that mostly deal with the subject areas of under graduate programmes of the different universities of Assam and Vacancy in Assam (http://vacancy.ala.net.in) that provides job notification to the unemployed youth of Assam on daily basis and also weekly in digest form. All these websites are accessed by thousands of people in each day.

9. Seminars, Conferences, Workshops and Training: ALA also made an attempt to build up a voluntary village library system by organizing conferences in different districts and in this way has been able to arouse and enlist public support and sympathy for public libraries by holding different conferences at Dibrugarh (1938), Tezpur (1952), Nagawn, Jorhat (1953), Golaghat (1955), Bokakhat (1957), Mangoldoi (1959), Guwahati (8th conference, 24th and 25th October 1964), Guwahati (9th conference on 9, 10 and 11th April, 1971), Nagaon (10th Annual Conference on 24th and 25th November, 1972) etc.
            On 30th December, 2010 ALA organized seminar on Legislation Based Library System in North East India with Special Reference to Assam and on 12th August, 2012 Regional Seminar on Entrepreneurial Approach of Library Professionals and during 22-23 January, 2017 a seminar on Public Librarianship and Glorious Heritage of Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Library (Reading Hall).
            ALA organized Training Programme for Non-Professional Library Staff during 9-13 August, 2014.

10. Librarian’s Day Celebration: ALA has been celebrating Librarians’ Day every year and organized programmes like special talk with some appointed speakers, felicitation to library professionals, symposium, seminar, etc. In 1998 ALA celebrated Librarian’s Day with Guwahati Library Association (GLA) at Guwahati and in 1999 with Jorhat Library Association. It observed its 12th Annual Conference on 12th August at Guwahati District Library Auditorium along with the Librarian’s Day which was also observed in association with the Department of Library and Information Science, Gauhati University and Guwahati Library Association. The Assam Library Association (ALA) observed Public Library Day at the Satyanath Bora Hall on May 22, 2016 to mark the 244th birth anniversary of Raja Rammohan Roy.

2005: The Librarians' Day was observed in association with Guwahati Library Association and Department of Library & Information Science Gauhati University at Sudmerson Hall, Cotton College. A Special talk was arranged on "Library and Reader in the present day Context" by Dr. Jogendra Narayan Bhuyan, noted writer in Assam.

2006: The Librarians' Day was observed in association with Department of Library & Information Science, Gauhati University and the ALA Bulletin was published on the occasion.

2007:  The Librarians’ Day was observed in association of DLIS, Gauhati University. Bhaba Prasad Chaliha, President of Assam Library Association delivered a lecturer on "Manuscript Preservation and Role of Libraries". Dr. N. N. Sharma, Dr. R. K. Barman , Dr. S. K. Singh, Mr. U. Sharma and Mr. D. Seal delivered lecture on the occasion. Honorable V. C. of Gauhati University inaugurated the function.

2009: The Librarians' Day was celebrated with a day long programme at Satyanath Borah Auditorium, Dighali Pukhuri East, in Guwahati. The programme was organized in collaboration with the Indian Association of Special Libraries & Information Centres (IASLIC) and the Department of Library & Information Science, Gauhati University. In connection with the programme a symposium on “Role of Library Association in Development of Librarians” was organised. The symposium was coordinated by Dr. N Lahkar, Prof. & Head, DLISC, G.U., Dr. Alaka Buragohain, Rtd. Professor, G.U., Dr. Salil Chandra Khan, Head of the DLISc, Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata and N. N. Sharma Rtd. Professor, Gauhati University were taken part in the discussion as appointed speakers. A bulletin was also published.

2010: The Assam Library Association organized a talk on the topic: “Book, Library and Computer” as a part of Librarians' Day on 12 August, 2010. The celebration was held at the seminar hall of the Dept. of Historical & Antiquarian Studies, Panbazar, Guwahati. Dr. Alaka Buragohain, Dr. N. N. Sharma, Dr. N. Lahkar, Mahendra Nath Bora delivered lecturer on different topics. President of ALA, Prof. Bhaba Prasad Chaliha emphasis the need of organizational strength for enrolling life members.

2012: Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University in association with Assam Library Association and Assam College Librarians’ Association celebrated Librarians’ Day on 12th August, 2012 at Shilpgram, Panjabari Road Guwahati-781037, Assam. In connection with the programme a regional seminar was also organized on the theme of “Entrepreneurial Approach of Library Professionals”. The programme was inaugurated by Professor Srinath Baruah, Vice Chancellor, Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University.

11. Felicitation to LIS Professionals: In 2007, ALA felicited Shri Birendra Kumar Sharma, former Librarian, Pragjyotish College in recognition of his contributions to the library profession especially to the college library system of Assam with a Phulam Gamocha, Sarai and Citation. In 2012, eminent Library and Information Science teacher and recipient of Phani Talukdar Dolly Talukdar Byanga Rachana, award by Axom Sahitya Sabha, Bhadra Borah was accorded warm felicitation.

12. Publication: At the 10th Annual Conference on 24th and 25th November, 1972 at Nagaon the half yearly official organ of the Association titled “Granthalok” took birth. In 1972/73 it brought out another volume of “Granthalok”.
The ALA Newsletter was published in the year 1999 under the editorship of Dr. Narendra Lahkar. In the year 2009, the 2nd issue of the newsletter was published under the editorship of Mr. Nabajyoti Das and Mr. Dhiman Seal. In 2015 two issues of the newsletter was published under the editorship of Mr. Badan Barman, Mr. Dhiman Seal and Mr. Nabajyoti Das.
In connection with the 8th Annual conference of 1964 ALA published one Souvenir; A Souvenir was also published by the reception committee with 9th Annual conference in 1971. A commemorative volume on Public Librarianship and Glorious Heritage of Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Library (Reading Hall): Plan for Renovation and Development was published in the year 2017 and was edited by Nabajyoti Das, Utpal Sarma and Badan Barman.
The 1st Edition of Let's Read Books was edited by Dr. Mahendra Nath Bora and was published in 2014 and Let Us Read Book, the 2nd edition of Let's Read Books was edited by Dr. Zabeen Ahmed, Dr. Utpal Sarma and Dr. Bhupendra Nath Sarma and was published in 2017. In 2018 Grantha Granthagar Aru Samaj was published which was edited by Mr. Dhiman Seal, Dr. Bhupendra Nath Sarma, Dr. Jyotika Devi.

13. Conclusion:  In the year 2015, when the Government of Assam tried to demolish the Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Hall and Library, ALA took active role in making people aware about the importance of maintaining the hall in the present form itself. As a result, the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority’s (GMDA) retract itself from the demolition bid. Again in 2015, under the leadership of Professor Alaka Buragohain, the ALA starts “Lets Read Book” campaign. ALA from the year of its establishment emphasis on the enactment of library legislation in the state of Assam which is far away from acceptance by the Government of Assam. Again, through a resolution passed in the 8th Conference (1964), the Assam Library Association had resolved to start a certificate course in Library Science which is yet to achieve. Excluding these two points, when compared with other states of India, ALA achieved new milestone in many areas and serving all its stakeholders with pride. It is because of the active role of ALA, Assam College Librarians’ Association (ACLA) and DLISc., Gauhati University the field of Library and Information Science remain fertile in Assam and all the professionals working in the field are getting all the benefit that they deserved.