It seems that the rare and age-old books in the library at the Government Central High School, Attakulangara, have now become a shelter and food for termites. However, hope is in sight. Aiming to preserve the 124-year-old library, a group of book lovers in the city has started the process of protecting it from further damage.
As many as 30 book lovers have taken the initiative to protect the old, rare and historic books, by digitising them with the help of C-DIT. The volunteers have started the initial work by cleaning the shelves, grouping the books and arranging them year-wise.
As per the details available from the officials, there are around 5,000 books, of which at least 500 have been fully damaged. With the oldest books dating back to 1900, the Malayalam version of the rare physics and other textbooks that were used then, the large collection is displayed on wooden shelves that too have started showing signs of damage. Factors including the weather have also destroyed the books.
In addition to the age-old books, the library has classroom equipment that was used by the school years ago. Some paintings and other such historical items are also part of the library.
The book lovers who took the initiative said that the government should declare the entire area a heritage zone. “We have named this initiative ‘Library first aid’ as it is one way of giving first aid to books. C-DIT will also ensure the digitisation of the books,” said Achuthsankar S Nair, head of the Department of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, University of Kerala, who is part of the group. “We also have plans to carry out the activity in all old schools so that our heritage would be protected and becomes familiar to the future generations too,” he said.