Tucked away in a small corner near the Old Judicial Complex, most Gurgaon residents are not even aware of the district library that is slowly being nudged into history.
In an age of e-books when libraries are on their way to extinction, the day is not far off when Gurgaon’s only library would head towards the same fate if action is not taken immediately and proper maintenance is ensured.
The district library was inaugurated in the year 1972 and has since been forgotten.
Ask any student in the city and in most probability, they do not even know there is a library. Mayank Gupta, a student, said, “It is no more a library but you could call it a haunted house.”
His description is not wrong, given the present condition of complete neglect the library is in.
The building is in a shambles, there is no proper place for people to sit and study and most of the time, visitors have to sit outdoors as there is no electricity.
The book stock has not been updated for years and there is no concept of library management, making it difficult for people to locate a particular book.
Ramvir Yadav, a senior librarian, told Hindustan Times, “The reading habit is not dying but people are not getting good books and a proper place to sit here. During power cuts in summers, the condition gets pathetic with no power or water. As an employee, I have complained numerous times to the authorities but it has all gone in vain. With the new Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) administrator taking over and given his love for books, I think the condition of the library will improve.”
Senior citizen Tej Bahadur Singh said, “The city’s only library lacks upkeep. People go to a library not only to get books but also sit and study. Not more than 10 people can sit in this library. This can partly be blamed on the dying reading habit among Gurgaon residents.” The few students and senior citizens who do come complain that they don’t get newspapers.
Proposals to shift the library to a new building and make it computerised has been on paper for years.
Huda administrator Praveen Kumar said, “I have no knowledge about the status of the district library. I will soon find out why the library has not been maintained and ensure that it gets back into proper shape.”