Public libraries in Pune reopens on reading motivation day on Oct 15
Pune district has 1,000 libraries with 90 libraries and reading rooms in the city registered with Pune District library.Updated: Oct 15, 2020, 16:30 IST
Pune: After seven months, the public libraries and reading rooms will see the light of the day on October 15 2020. Incidentally, 15 October is also celebrated as “Vachan Prerna Divas” or Reading Day to pay homage to former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam who loved reading and writing, and also to encourage children to understand the importance of reading and develop it as a hobby.
There are 1,000 libraries in Pune district, of which 90 libraries and reading rooms in the city are registered with the Pune District library. Following a circular Mission Begin Again released on 14 October, 2020, by the department of revenue and forest, disaster management, relief and rehabilitation, the libraries are getting ready to welcome their members again.
Pune Marathi Granthalaya, the public library with 6,000 members and eight centres across the city, held a meeting at their premises after the state’s circular was passed. “Though it is on short notice, we welcome the decision taken by the authorities. We have planned a small prayer meet at the morning to celebrate Vachan Prerna Divas and have invited a few of our life members. The library will open its doors to its members at 9 am, with the security staff equipped with hand sanitisers and oxymeters to check members. We will allow only one member at a time to exchange book at the counter,” said Sharad Ghanekar, vice-chairman of the 107-year-old library.
Though Ghanekar said that he is unsure about opening the reading hall, seating arrangements to maintain social distancing will be made if there is a demand from readers.
Arun Kamalapurkar, (66), resident of Ganesh Mala, and retired bank employee is member of the Pune Marathi Granthalaya, said, “I missed the library a lot. I have reread all the books in my house. I was eagerly waiting for the library to reopen for time killing is an important factor for a senior citizen. There are limitations to buy new books, with finance and space to keep books. I prefer public libraries as compared to private libraries because membership is cheaper.”
Hemant Kulkarni, a life member of the library, was excited and hoped to be the first one to visit the library when it reopens. “There is a vast difference when you read a book at home and when you are in the library. There are several of my friends and book lovers alike who all like to discuss books and exchange ideas at the library,” said Kulkarni, who has read all the 500 books kept at his home during the months of lockdown.
Some libraries are unsure if their members will risk a visit.
“We have been getting calls ever since the unlock circular was announced and are preparing to reopen the library. Our only concern is that 60 per cent of our members are senior citizens, and hence worried, although, we will follow all the protocols of social distancing, sanitizers and mask compulsory for visitors. We also have a skeletal staff attending in two shifts of the library’s working hours,” said VD Pingale, director, Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad Granthalaya.
Shreya Gokhale of the district granthalaya said, “We have intimated all the libraries with us and specifically larger libraries with reading halls to maintain social distancing and constantly sanitize the premises.”