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Better take a leaf out of this panchayat library’s book

Serena Josephine. M
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It currently has around 1,500 to 1,600 books

The panchayat library at Thammalerimuthur has been showing the way in proper maintenance and regular visitors.
The panchayat library at Thammalerimuthur has been showing the way in proper maintenance and regular visitors.

Established four years ago with over 1,000 books, the panchayat library of Thammalerimuthur near Tirupattur has been sowing the habit of reading among young students in the panchayat. Growing patronage from youngsters and proper maintenance of books have helped the library to flourish in its own small way.

The library, which is located in the heart of Thammalerimuthur panchayat, has a regular visitor base especially comprising school students and youth. It was constructed at a cost of Rs. 2.50 lakh with funds from the Member of Legislative Assembly constituency development scheme and panchayat funds.

“The library currently has around 1,500 to 1,600 books in various categories. There are several books including those on general knowledge to help those preparing for competitive examinations such as civil services, bank, railway recruitment exams and village administrative officers’ exams,” said E. Shanmugam, retired veterinary livestock supervisor of the Department of Animal Husbandry, who has been maintaining the library since its beginning.

Story books for children and English grammar books also adorn the shelves at the library. “Over 100 books including encyclopaedias, dictionary and readers digest came in as donation from panchayat president of Thammalerimuthur,” he added.

These books are systematically arranged as per categories. “The books have been divided into categories such as education, literature, history and competitive exams. A number has been allotted to each book as per the category and an entry is made in the stock registry. We are likely to get more books from the government,” he pointed out.

He said school and college students visited the library regularly. On an average, 10 to 15 persons came daily. “Majority of the visitors belong to the young group. They are very interested in reading books,” he added.

The library is not just a hit among young readers in the panchayat but has carved a niche for itself for proper maintenance. At a book exhibition held at Vellore in 2010, the library bagged the award for good maintenance and administration from the District Collector, President of Thammalerimuthur panchayat M. Elango noted.

Officials, who have inspected the library, have appreciated that the library was well-maintained, Mr. Shanmugam added. “We went through a lot of difficulties to establish this library. Four years ago, a villager encroached this land but we fought hard to retrieve it. This library had come up after plenty of hardships,” Mr. Elango recounted.

For students in the panchayat, the library came as a reason to cheer. “I have been coming to the library since it was opened four years ago. I love to read a lot of books. I visit the library in the morning before school hours and also come in the evening after school almost every day. It is close to my home and I love to come here and also bring my friends,” said G. Keerthana, a class VIII student.

This avid reader loves to read books on general knowledge, story books, spoken English and Thirukural at the library. Similar are P. Sriram, a class VIII student, and S. Vasanth, a class V student, who visit the library on a regular basis.

“The library is very useful for students like me. It helps to develop the habit of reading,” Sriram remarked.

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