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The Delhi Public Library (DPL) was established in 1951 by then Ministry of Education, Government of India with financial and technical assistance from the UNESCO. The Library was inaugurated by the first Prime Minister of India Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru on 27th October 1951. Since then it has been developed into a premier public library system in the country covering the entire Metropolitan city. Delhi Public Library was started as a Pilot Project of UNESCO “For the development of public library services in adult and fundamental education throughout India and in other countries of Southeast Asia”.

UNESCO floated the proposal to start Public Library Pilot Project in Asia and India was the first to respond and express its desire to implement it. Therefore, India was selected for the Public Library Pilot Project to carry out the Policy of UNESCO’s Public Library Manifesto. It started as a Model of UNESCO’s Public Library Manifesto in Asia. An agreement between the UNESCO and the Government of India was made in May 1951; the Terms of Reference for the project were set as: “It shall provide public library service for the people of the city of Delhi and shall be a model for all public library development in India, and in all countries where similar development of public libraries can be undertaken. The library shall be designed to carry out the policy of the UNESCO’s Public Library Manifesto and to serve the needs of popular education”.

Delhi Public Library was started with the objective of providing a free public library and information services to the people of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. The Library also acts as a community center for informal education and a model for public library development in India. Delhi Public Library serves the needs of all members of the community especially of Neo-Literates and Children without any distinction of class, creed, occupation, race, sex etc

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