THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the capital boasts of its facilities for higher education including libraries, the Kerala University Library at Palayam cuts a sorry figure. The library is plagued with several shortcomings. Readers often complain about the leakage of roofs and improper maintenance of the library and its compound.
Another issue that has been reported is the misbehaviour of staff towards differently-abled readers and students. Recently, the library authorities stopped the usage of social media in the library. This move invited criticism from students and readers.
According to J S Rahul, a differently-abled student and president, Kerala University Library Resource Forum, the library is not friendly to differently-abled students. “There are only a few facilities for readers, especially for the differently-abled students. A toilet built exclusively for them is being used by others and is ill-maintained. Security officers have an indifferent attitude. Authorities have denied permission to form a forum for the welfare of readers and differently-abled students,” he said.
He also alleged that the authorities had tried to silence those who raise voices against the misrule of the library. About the ban on social media use, Rahul said that the library authorities told the readers to read only journals related to education. “I don’t have a smartphone. Like me, many students don’t have smartphones. So the authority should allow us to use social media,” he said.
When Express contacted library authorities, they were unavailable for comment. However, Kerala University vice-chancellor V P Mahadevan Pillai said that he would look into the issue and resolve it at the earliest. “All the complaints raised by students will be addressed,” Pillai said. The University Library, established in 1942, is the oldest and biggest university library in Kerala and is situated adjacent to the University Senate Hall campus in the city. It stocks over 3,50,000 books and subscribes to nearly 500 journals, periodicals and magazines.