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Books on Sikhism to be included in Washington area Public Libraries


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    Washington January 14, 2008 - A county adjacent to Washington has agreed to include books on Sikhs in its public libraries. Montgomery County officials agreed and accepted the books on Sikhs and Sikhism to include them in the library system to help disseminate information about the community. Guru Gobind Singh Foundation launched a new project of providing books to Montgomery County libraries. Joginder Singh, winner of “Outstanding Volunteer Award in Montgomery County Library “ made tireless efforts to initiate this project. With his assistance Director of Montgomery County Libraries, Ms. Parker Hamilton and Agency Manager Maria Padak Kari were invited to the Gurdwara during the Gurpurab celebrations to make announcement about this project. A plaque for Excellence in Community Service was presented to the Library Officials by GGSF.

    GGSF representatives presenting a plaque to Parker Hamilton and Maria Padak Kari and Joginder Singh is on the right

    Montgomery County is the largest county in the state of Maryland which covers a 497-square mile area of suburbs to the north and northwest of Washington, D.C. It is also considered among the top counties in the country in terms of education, transportation and the economy.

    Ms. Parker Hamilton

    Speaking on this occasion, Ms. Hamilton , the Director said that Montgomery County Library system is the 10th best in the country. She applauded efforts of Joginder Singh for arranging to have books on the Sikh faith. As Montgomery County has substantial number of Sikhs so in future we would like to have books in the native language for the Sikhs also. She expressed appreciation for Guru Gobind Singh Foundation for taking the lead in this matter.

    Maria Padak Kari

    Maria Padak Kari, the Agency Manager for Germantown library commenting on the Sikh tradition said, “ I have learnt about this beautiful tradition you have of giving back to the community. This establishes bond with each other and strengthens the relationship. I have also noticed that you hold your scripture in great reverence which reflects you love for learning. American community at large has to learn a lot about the Sikhs and libraries provide the best medium for imparting the information.” Ms. Pedak-Kari was pleased to see some familiar faces amongst the congregation, and invited one and all to use the resources of the New Germantown Library.

    While introducing Ms. B. Parker Hamilton, Director of Montgomery County Department of Public Libraries and Ms. Maria Pedak-Kari, Agency Manager of the New Germantown Library, Joginder Singh, Former Chair of the County's Library Board, spoke highly of their professionalism. From his own experience during his six year tenure on the Library Board, he spoke of the excellent service provided by the Library System.

    Members of GGSF sangat presenting books: Baldev Singh, Dr. Harminder Singh Sethi, Gagan Kaur Narang, Amrit Kaur, Dr. Paramjit S. Aujla Library officials and Inderjit Singh

    Amrit Kaur, the Secretary of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation thanked them for this kind gesture of keeping books on Sikhism in English and regional language Punjabi. She called upon several key citizens of the Montgomery County to present, as a token, 3 copies of the book “ Sikhs and Sikhism- a view with a bias” by Dr. IJ Singh of New York. This book was the first publication of several essays by the author written specifically for non Sikhs. In the beginning 3 copies of 10 books on art, philosophy, history and general understanding will be given to the libraries.

    Dr. Rajwant Singh, Executive Director of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation appealed to the congregation members to give generously toward this project because it involves a lot of money also and said, “Although Sikhs are present in USA for over 100 years yet not much information is available about them and their religion to general public. This project will certainly ensure more education about our community among non-Sikhs and it will also deter any prejudice arising from ignorance about Sikh traditions and Sikh observances.”

    Some of the titles selected by GGSF team are: THE WORLD ACCORDING TO SIKHI by I. J. Singh, The Sikhs by Patwant Singh, Sikhism and Christianity: A Comparative Study by W. Owen Cole and Piara Singh Sambhi, Illustrated History of the Sikhs by Khuswant Singh, The Sikh world by Daljit Singh and Angela Smith, The Art of Sikh Kingdom, Sikhism by Nikky – Guninder Kaur, Teachings of the Sikh Gurus: Selections from the Sikh Scriptures by Christopher Shackle and Arvind-pal Singh Mandair, Guru Nanak by Roopinder Singh and The Wisdom of Sikhism – One world of Wisdom, Oxford
    Guru Gobind Singh Foundation
    13814 Travilah Road
    Rockville, Maryland 20850
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