The wisdom of placing knowledge in bags

Gunny bags packed with books at the government branch library on Park Road, Anna Nagar West Extension. Photo: K. Pichumani

Gunny bags packed with books at the government branch library on Park Road, Anna Nagar West Extension. Photo: K. Pichumani   | Photo Credit: K_Pichumani

This library at Park Road has created an unusual lodging place for most of its 28,138 books

There are good things to say about the government branch library at Park Road in Anna Nagar West Extension. And then, there are bad things.

Good things, first. The library has a collection of 28,138 books, which include novels, books on short stories, engineering, medicine, general knowledge and fitness.

There are also comics and other books for children. It has nearly 400 members and nearly 15 schools in the locality can easily access this facility. Children spend at least an hour in the library when they visit the Millennium Park, which is adjacent to the facility.

And, here is what is not so nice about the library.

Not all the books are arranged on the shelves. They are found in gunny bags — yes, you heard right, gunny bags — and members have to rummage through them to find the books they are looking for.

The single-room library measures less than 400 sq ft and the cramped space has led most of the books to be kept in bags. Other unseemly features include broken chairs and an abundance of dust that has blanketed the facility.

The library can accommodate only around 10 persons at a time.

“If improved upon, the facility could enable residents to spend some quality leisure time,” says M. Suresh, a resident of Anna Nagar.

In fact, the library was founded by residents in 1994 and later handed over to the Directorate of Public Libraries under the Ministry of School Education with the hope it would be upgraded and maintained well, residents say.

Sources at the library say the inordinate delay in the complete transfer of the library including vacating a portion of the Corporation building where the library is located by the local residential welfare association has been the major hurdle for the officials at the Directorate of Public Libraries to renovate it.

Several representations have been made to the association by the library officials but continued occupation of a portion of the Corporation-owned building by the association is believed to have tied the hands of the Directorate.

“As the locality has high rental value, the local welfare association refuses to vacate the portion of the civic-body owned building. Instead, they ask rent from us,” said an official at the library.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 6:21:50 PM |

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