HYDERABAD: For the cash-strapped libraries in the city, buying new books is becoming an onerous task. As a result, youngsters who visit libraries for competitive examinations and textbooks are left disappointed as they are unable to find new books in these categories.
“We regularly visit City Central Library to prepare for competitive examinations. But we do not find any books that suit our need. As many job notifications are expected to be issued by the Telangana government and the Public Service Commission, it would be better if books and other related material for preparing for competitive examinations are made available in public libraries in view of their huge cost,” said S Sambi Reddy, a young job aspirant, preparing for Group-II exam.
With no books available in the library, students are made to bring their own books and use library premises just as a reading room. One can see hundreds of students sitting on the premises of City Central Library at Chikkadpally and preparing for competitive exams.
The scene is similar at the State Central Library in Afzalgunj where students grab any little space available on the premises and read their own books squatting on the floor as they fail to find the books they need at the library. Almost all these youngsters are aspiring to the jobs to be announced by the state government.
While the official statistics provided by Hyderabad City Grandhalaya Samstha (HCGS) shows a rich collection of 15 lakh books in the 86 libraries in the city, the irony is that students today find no books which are useful to them. Officials have long back stopped procuring new titles to meet the demand for books for new courses and examinations.
State of Affairs
Students and job-seekers are worried over lack of suitable books to prepare for Groups I and II exams
Candidates want public libraries to provide latest books for competitive exams
HCGS fails to add new titles due to severe fund crunch
Books and preparation material available in the market are expensive and beyond the reach of the poor and middle-class youth
The government is allocating just `2 lakh to city libraries, which is not sufficient even for maintenance leave alone procurement of new titles. Of late, the demographic trends of library visitors have undergone a change with just students and youth visiting libraries frequently unlike women and the elderly in the past. “But it is true that youngsters do not have enough material to equip themselves to participate in competitive exams as well as academic textbooks for their regular studies, said AVN Raju, secretary of HCGS.
But, in view of the upcoming competitive examinations they are taking steps to buy new titles to help students prepare for the recruitment tests. “An amount of `2 lakh has been spent recently on buying books. most of which meant for youngsters preparing for competitive examinations,” he added.
Though library officials have initiated a couple of measures like keeping libraries open till 10 pm for the benefit of students preparing for exams and seeking students’ opinions for buying new titles, young library-goers want latest competitive exam material available at the library for those books cost a bomb in the market. The expensive books are sure to burden job aspirants who are mostly poor.