Thane library offering your favourite book in digital, audio formats
Even as the habit of reading is losing ground, city-based Marathi library, the Marathi Grantha Sangrahalaya on Station Road, has come up with an innovative way to inculcate the habit of reading among people of all age groups.
The library, which is one of the oldest in the city, on the occasion of its 120th anniversary, has installed a digital kiosk which will read out the contents of the books to readers.
The kiosk has a huge screen that displays pages of the book one chooses to read. The screen will also show animated stories.
Vidyadhar Walavalkar, administration officer of the library, said, “We have 25 books uploaded on the kiosk. For the past two days, we have been gauging the response.”
People can access around 1,500 audio books and more than 1,730 books from 20 subjects ranging from history, biographies, geology, poetry and many more genres. The e-books are available free of cost.
People of all age groups can enjoy using the kiosk, which will read aloud the chapters of the books which could be heard with headphones.
The library management plans to install three more. This is a part of the digitalisation programme introduced by the library this year.
There are around 3,500 scanned books, and many magazines and newspapers which readers can access.
It’s interesting to note that the library has preserved newspapers like Kesari, (founded by Bal Gangadhar Tilak) from 1952 onwards.
The library management began the digitisation of the books in November 2017. The collector has given ₹50 lakh.
“Many of the books we have are very old. Considering they are not in good condition, the idea to restore books of importance came up. After they are digitised, people from across the world can access the books. It will also make it easier to preserve these century-old books,” said Pranali Kobal, librarian of Marathi Granth Sangrahalaya .