BHAWANIPATNA: At the district library here, books will not be found stacked in the racks but piled up on the floor and other places with layers of dust covering them. Such is the state of affairs in the library, located at no other place than the district culture office, that readers have to scour through polythene bags looking for their books and magazines.
And when they find their book after putting in much effort, there is a high chance that it might have been damaged by rats, termites or even moisture.
More appalling picture of apathy and neglect is the library has as many as 21 almirahs to store books, but they are mostly empty while valuable books, magazines, journals and newspapers are lying scattered in pitiable conditions all around.
Sources said the library was established with 23,000 books received from Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation and Harekrushna Mahtab State Library but only 12,093 of them have been registered and catalogued.
Five years back, a group of readers called upon the district administration to arrange of funds for expansion of the library, to make an inventory of books and catalogue them.
However, this is yet to be done. Last year in May, the District Culture Office received Rs 4.69 lakh from the State Government for modernisation of the library but the funds have remained unutilised so far.
Because it does not have enough manpower to implement the work. The library was being managed by one library assistant and an attendant. The library assistant is also engaged in establishment and salary matters in culture office and also holds the additional charge of Nuapada district library. The additional work leaves him with little time to look into the management of the District Library.
The district culture office and library are located in the heart of town adjacent to bus stand and till the last 10 years, a good number of readers and research scholars visited it. But due to lack of maintenance, the number of readers began dwindling. Today, there are days when the library does not get a single visitor.
An officer of the district culture office said the higher authorities in the Culture Department have been apprised about condition of the library.
There are 21 almirahs to store books but they are not being put to use
The library was established with 23,000 books received from Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation and Harekrushna Mahtab Library
Only 12,093 books have been registered and catalogued
The library assistant is overburderned with additional charge of Nuapada library and section works in dist culture office