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Declining popularity of libraries

PUBLIC LIBRARIES
Last Updated : 30 January 2012, 14:08 IST
Last Updated : 30 January 2012, 14:08 IST

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Delhi is home to some of the oldest libraries in the country. Spread across the entire City, the many libraries here are a rich source of knowledge and learning and serve as an invaluable source of information to various students, researchers and management graduates.

But in this day and age when information is available at the click of a mouse, are libraries still popular? Metrolife talks to Delhi youth and finds out. 

“Why go to any library when I have it all on my laptop? I go to my college library five days before the exams but I have never been to a public library. I don’t really feel the need to visit a library,” says Nisha Saxena, a college student.

Most libraries in Delhi wait in silence for book lovers to come and dig in their vast variety of journals, books and periodicals.

“There is one central and zonal library in Chandni Chowk and six community libraries and 23 sub branches in different parts of Delhi. But the number of people approaching libraries is decreasing every year. We think internet has all the information we need, so libraries are useless,” says Sudha Mukherjee, librarian, Sarojini Nagar, DPL.

With a proud collection of almost two lakh books, DPL currently has 79,226 members and was established in 1951 as a pilot project by the then Ministry of Education, Government of India in collaboration with UNESCO. Accordingly Government of India constituted Delhi Library Board under a special resolution on February 7, 1951 as an autonomous organisation.

Presently, DPL is functioning under the administrative control of Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Department of Culture, Government of India. These public libraries were introduced to provide the concept of free public library and information services to Delhiites.

With no desire to spend silent hours reading at a library, youngsters feel that many libraries in Delhi need to upgrade themselves with modern technology and a better collection of books. “Libraries are suppose to be open seven days a week but many times they are either closed or the staff is not willing to help me find a book that I need,” rues Richa Gupta, a student.

Most youngsters also feel that public libraries should provide a unique platform for interaction and  other activities. “Libraries have the ability to enhance capacities for educational improvement in all sectors of the society. Libraries should not just be a storehouse for books,” says Rajgopalan, assistant enquiry officer, DPL, Chandni Chowk.

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Published 30 January 2012, 14:08 IST

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