Pakistan: Over 100 million books available for free from Sindh’s new digital library

Karachi: Sindh Culture, Tourism, and Antiquities Department has launched a digital library portal to give free access to people from the around world to virtual editions of over 100 million books, research journals, and periodicals having special focus on centuries-old history and civilization of Sindh.

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The digital library portal of Sindh Culture Department could be accessed through its URL: el.sindhculture.gov.pk

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Speaking at the recently held launching ceremony of the digital library, Sindh Culture Minister Syed Sardar Ali Shah said that the library not just provided the digital versions of all the books available with the Sindh Culture Department but also provided access to books and research journals available by different academic and research institutions around the world.

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He said that under the barter system the open source database was used to allow the libraries and academic institutions around the world to access the books available in the newly launched digital library of Sindh. The foreign libraries and institutions in turn give access to their digitally available books under the barter system as the user of Sindh’s digital library is not required to leave its web portal to access these foreign books through the use of Application Programming Interface.

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The provincial Culture minister urged the private publishers in the country to show generosity to join the digital library programme by making available the digital versions of their books free of charge.

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He said that the Sindh Culture Department had established an institution of language engineering while realizing the future needs that only printed version would not be sufficient to preserve linguistic and literature records as for the purpose the digital technology had to be used.

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Up to 40 per cent books in the digital library are available in the PDF format while rest are available in text-based versions for easy access and research.

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The digital library is based on Retina Ready web design so that there is no stress on the eyes after the prolonged sitting by the users.

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The digital library doesn’t require registration by the users while it could be accessed through all computer gadgets including smart phones, laptops, personal computers, tablets, and iPad.

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The digital library also provides access to some of the world’s biggest dictionary portals including the dictionary portal of Sindhi Language Authority. It provides access to books in nine different languages including that in Sindhi, Urdu, and English.

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