Staff Reporter

Baby visits PWD Rest House to inspect books and furniture handed over by the library

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Minister for Education and Culture M.A. Baby has assured the public that the State government will set up a library with all the ‘necessary comfort and facilities’ of the former British Library in the city at the earliest.

Mr. Baby announced this here on Friday after a quick visit to the PWD Rest House where the books and furniture handed over by the British Library are kept.

The visit was triggered by media reports that the books and furniture were poorly maintained and exposed to the elements at its new abode.

The Minister inspected the two rooms at the rest house where the books numbering around 25,000 are bundled, sealed and stacked up in cardboard boxes.

He directed the officials to protect the books stored in one of the rooms, with a creaky wooden ceiling, using tarpaulin to prevent them from getting drenched during monsoon.

The furniture, including chairs and book shelves donated by the British Library were consigned to two other rooms protected by concrete roofing.

Later, Mr. Baby told The Hindu that a decision regarding the proposed library would be taken after a meeting with other cabinet ministers.

Forum’s appeal

Members of the Save British Library Forum had already met Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan seeking his help to expedite the process of opening a new library in the wake of the closure of the British Library.

Though the State government had initially announced that the new library would be set up on the premises of the YMCA, where the library functioned, it had to be aborted after the YMCA announced that it would start its own library there.