One public library, many grievances

BANGALORE: The Public Library in Rajajinagar next to the Raghavendra Swamy Temple is one of the three main branches falling under the North Zone of the Department of Public Library. When we vi

Published: 27th February 2012 06:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:04 PM   |  A+A-

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BANGALORE: The Public Library in Rajajinagar next to the Raghavendra Swamy Temple is one of the three main branches falling under the North Zone of the Department of Public Library. When we visited the library, it rather presented a grim picture. The library occupies three floors of the building, the first floor being the newspaper and magazine section along with some space dedicated to children’s books. The second floor is the issuing section with books on literature in Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil etc. The third floor is the reference section, where college students or students appearing for competitive examinations can use books for reference. Firstly, there were no security guards deployed at the entrance. Secondly, there is a construction site right next to the library which is causing a lot of dust. Readers also complained of the noise caused by the traffic on the adjoining road. A regular visitor to the library, Senthil Kumar said, “The collection is quite repetitive. I have been coming to this library for the past five years. There is drinking water facility, but I don’t think its clean. There are no toilet facilities available at every floor.” When we quizzed Assistant Librarian Rajalakshmi about the same, she said, “The problem with keeping toilets in all the floors open, is that there have been cases of miscreants entering the toilets, smoking, littering the place with cigarette butts and locking themselves for hours together. Since, the staff in this library comprises women, we can’t really go and question them. Lack of security persons is a problem.” The building just had a small section in the third floor covered with a sheet to prevent dust entering the building. But, it merely serves any purpose. Readers complained about a lot of dust entering through the windows and also settling on the books, creating a layer of dust. Other than the dust, noise plays havoc too. Another reader told us, “I come here to get away from the disturbance in home and spend some time studying peacefully. But, the purpose is defeated due to the noise here caused by the vehicles.” Since the building is very old, some of the flooring has also worn off. We found out that there are plans to computerise the centre very soon. Assistant Librarian, Savita said, “Every year, around 3000 new books are added to the library.” But, that doesn’t seem to be enough. Rashmi, a UPSC aspirant said, “Collection on Kannada literature is good. But, books for students like me aren’t good enough.” The City Central Library Deputy Director, Chandrashekar said, “Yes. Security is an issue there. We will make arrangements soon.” On the issues relating to dust and noise, he said, “In the last Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) meeting, we have appealed for a new building or a CSI building from the BDA (Bangalore Development Authority) at a nominal rate. There is also painting and flooring work to be done in the same building. But, we are hesitant on spending too much on a rented building. We are already paying a rent of `65, 000 every month. Another problem is to get such a big building in the same locality. BBMP has told us they don’t have any own buildings in Rajajinagar, to provide us. But, somehow we want to move the library to a better location.” Like its counterpart in Malleshwaram, this library too suffers from space crunch. We hope that BBMP heeds to the issues faced by one of the important libraries in the city.  

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