Hundreds of village panchayat libraries constructed under the Anaithu Grama Anna Marumalarchi Thittam (AGAMT) in the district have remained closed for years now. Thousands of books worth lakhs of rupees in these libraries are gathering dust. Many libraries were locked down within a few months of being after opened, while less than 200 libraries were functioning on only two to three days a week as against six days, an official in the district administration said. “Over 100 libraries are defunct as of today. The books are gathering dust and library buildings wear a deserted look. Few buildings are even being misused by anti-social elements,” he added.
The library at Nagal Panchayat stands testimony to the sorry state of affairs.
Blaming the “irresponsible attitude” of the local bodies for the non-functioning of the libraries, officials said the government recently passed an order increasing the honorarium for librarians from ` 750 to ` 1,500 per month.
“The State government has also directed authorties to appoint members of Pudhu Vazhu Thittam or panchayat level federations of Tamil Nadu State Rural Livelihood Mission as honorary librarians to revive the defunct libraries” said a senior official of DRDA.