Libraries lose thousands of books

Volunteers clean up libraries and reading rooms hit by floods in district

August 29, 2018 07:26 am | Updated 07:26 am IST - KOCHI

 Books, some of them over 100 years old, damaged in floods dumped outside a library at Paliamnada, near Chennamangalam.

Books, some of them over 100 years old, damaged in floods dumped outside a library at Paliamnada, near Chennamangalam.

The Nair Samajam Library and Reading Room, established in 1934, at Paliamnada, near Chennamangalam, tells the tale of dozens of local libraries that were inundated in the recent flood. Around 12,000 books from a collection of over 27,000 have been lost and cannot be used again, says P.T. Joy, who has been the librarian for 22 years.

“There was no time to save the books,” he said wistfully and recalling that he tried to salvage some of the more precious of the books and periodicals by carrying them upstairs. “I was all alone and my home near the library was also flooded,” he said.

The electronic equipment can be bought again but there were books that were at least 150 years old, he said.

The library, which has won several awards, has a robust membership base of over 2,000. An office-bearer of the Ernakulam District Library Council said that volunteers had been cleaning up several of these libraries and reading rooms. An assessment of the number of libraries that were totally inundated is being made, he said.

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