Giving a ray of hope to the decaying district library of its survival, which has been lying in dilapidated condition for years, the district administration has come forward with an assistance of Rs 2 lakh and has promised for a long-term expansion plan.
Besides Rs 2 lakh, said Amritsar deputy commissioner (DC) Ravi Bhagat, there was a pending proposal of rs 50 lakh for the library made by Raji P Srivastava, former secretary, department of tourism and cultural affairs.
“Though Srivastava has been transferred, her proposal stays with me and I will ensure that book lovers in the city are not deprived of using the district library because of its lifeless ambience.”
“I will soon forward the Rs 50-lakh proposal to the state government and try to get it sanctioned. Once the money is sanctioned, the library will be renovated and equipped with modern facilities. A well-to-do district library will definitely give a fillip to the reading culture in the city,” the DC added.
A library should be able to attract the youth as well as book lovers, but that’s not the case with the Amritsar district library, which has been crying for the government’s attention for its revival for years.
Coming to the rescue of the lifeless library, the district administration has not just provided Rs 2 lakh for its immediate needs, but has also given books on women empowerment.
In the absence of requisite funds, district librarian Prabhjot Sandhu has been adding books to the library and making electric appliances run on her own level and with the help of various organisations for over past 10 years.
She got the inverter’s batteries replaced thrice by requesting various organisation for help, else fans and lights wouldn’t be working at the library.
The DC said, “Now, with Rs 2 lakh, I am sure she can manage inverter and improve the quality of electricity appliances, which will improve lighting in the library. Moreover, the readers can now get an air-conditioned library, which will provide them some relief from scorching heat. With optimum use of the money, I am sure that the librarian can replace obsolete furniture as well.”
Funds will definitely revive the library, but the librarian is the lone staff there, as no recruitment for the library has been done for over a decade. As a result, there is not even an assistant librarian who can take the charge when she is on leave.
Prabhjot said: “I am thankful to the DC for the allocation of funds, but the Centre should enact a public library act, which will make it mandatory for the states to ensure availability of funds, staff and infrastructure for the public libraries.”
“Besides, the Punjab assembly should pass the Shabad Parkash Punjab Public Library and Information Services Bill for the betterment of libraries in the state,” she added.