Library shares premises with Wine Board

Library shares premises with Wine Board

It was established in the year 1994 exclusively for children

And what’s worse is that officials at the Department of Public Libraries are completely unaware of the development.

The Indira Priyadarshini Children’s Library situated in Cubbon Park was established on August 24, 1994 in a building, which to this day belongs to the Department of Horticulture.

The library is in a sordid state with officials admitting that children rarely visit it and sources even made the shocking revelation that the premises was used to stock wine during the Karnataka Wine Board’s ‘Wine Mela’ last month. A charge that Jayaram, Director of the Department of Horticulture, and also a director on the Karnataka Wine Board vehemently denies.

Wine mela

“We do not manufacture wine and therefore there is no question of storing it. And the building belongs to us and we have occupied the premises with a view to making it the corporate office of the Karnataka Wine Board,” Jayaram said. Although sources said that the premises was actually occupied during the Wine mela last month, Jayaram claimed that the board has occupied the space for nearly a year and was renovating it.

The Director of the Department of Public Libraries, S B Hondadkeri expressed complete surprise at the portion of the premises being occupied by the wine board.

Empty for 2 years

“We have repeatedly requested the government and the Horticulture department to give us the building but I am completely unaware of the Wine board occupying it,” he said. He added that the area occupied by the Wine Board was empty for the past two years.

According to official figures, the library houses around 5,000 books and subscribes to 10 magazines each month.

But a cursory glance is enough to figure that the number is far less than the official figures. Further, there was not a single child around in the library but a few middle aged men who were not exactly equipping themselves with children’s literature.

Children’s hardly visit

Hondadkeri admitted that children hardly visit the library and if there are visitors it is only during the weekends. “We want to make it more appealing for children and want to tie-up with schools for regular trips to the library and even have story-telling sessions,” he said.

Incidentally, the library figures in one of the 26 recommendations made to the Chief Minister by the Karnataka Knowledge Commission.

The Commission has recommended that the government make the library into “an invaluable centre for the children”. But, if it continues in its current direction, the library may well turn into an invaluable wine cellar that stocks expensive vintage.

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