With an eye to give a new look to the centuries-old libraries in the state and to bring back readers, the department of library services today observed the fourth public library day with grand celebrations at Science City auditorium.

A newly upgraded website where information about the libraries of the state will be available was launched on Wednesday at the programme.

The website includes a host of new features where regular updates regarding the department will be uploaded for the benefit of readers.

The department also has future plans to make rare books available to readers in the form of e-books.

The other important project undertaken by the library services department is to create a virtual library that can be accessed from the website of the department.

The event was attended by state education minister  Partha Chatterjee, power minister  Sovan Deb Chatterjee, minister of environment and housing  Sovan Chatterjee, labour minister Maloy Ghatak and Sashi Panja, minister of women and child welfare.

Addressing the gathering, Partha Chatterjee said, “This initiative will surely bring back readers to the libraries. When we came to power, the condition of these 2480 libraries in the state was dismal. After coming to power it has been our endeavour to upgrade the libraries and bring back readers to them.”

“It should be properly monitored so that the funds sent by the department for buying books in libraries is spent properly and not misused,” he added.

He further urged the students to not only focus on text books, but to increase their knowledge by reading reference books and classics.

“Books can capture the past with authenticity. Books relate the past to the present,” he said.

Also present at the occasion were the vice-chancellors (VC) of Jadavpur University and Calcutta University. Speaking on the occasion, Suranjan Das said, “It is true that books are becoming redundant now but technology is not an alternative to books. It can merely act as an aid.”