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Free e-library app crashes within minutes of opening

The ambitious project to digitise legacy public libraries across Karnataka was launched in 2020 in three phases, but its objective of encouraging people to read on their mobile phones has hit a roadblock.
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 22:12 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 22:12 IST

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Karnataka’s public libraries app stopped working three months ago, and not much is happening to fix it.

The ambitious project to digitise legacy public libraries across Karnataka was launched in 2020 in three phases, but its objective of encouraging people to read on their mobile phones has hit a roadblock.

As part of the modernisation project, 272 public libraries were provided with computers and WiFi connectivity in the first phase. A website and app were also launched four years ago.

A hundred libraries were digitised in the second phase and the third phase was to focus on rural areas and expansion of content on the department’s app and website.

“After the first two phases were rolled out, many things had to be reviewed and fixed. Some weeks ago, the government set up a committee to review the work in the earlier phases. We should be able to sort out all problems by the time the third phase is launched,” Kanagavalli M, director, department of public libraries, told Metrolife. However, she did not specify when the third phase would begin.

“Some of the libraries have been hav-ing Internet problems, so digitisation of content has been difficult. Another time-consuming aspect is deciding what to digitise,” she says. The department decides what to digitise. Since libraries may have similar catalogues, digitising a book by one library is enough to cater to all app and website users. 

What’s online

Currently, the e-library focuses on academic books, with sections such as competitive and entrance exams, commerce and management, engineering, classic literature, and financial literacy. It has 10.6 lakh ebooks and videos and 8,469 journals — a majority in Kannada and English. Some books in Bengali, Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, Assamese, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Odia and Japanese are also on the catalogue. It also has a host of
quizzes available for English, EVS, and Social Science.

“We plan to add more leisure reads. But currently the focus is on academic books to help students,” says Kanagavalli. The digital library provides study material for the state board and CBSE.

App troble
The e-Sarvajanika Granthalaya app is available on both iOS and Android, but it is not functioning on either platform, a reality check by Metrolife found.

It is easy to create an account and log in using your mobile number, but the app crashes immediately after. Closing and reopening the app doesn’t help either, as it shuts down within minutes of clicking on the icon.

“We’ve been facing this problem for more than three months now. It’s taking time to find the problem. Plus, the focus isn’t entirely on the app currently, as it isn’t the most popular. Most people prefer the website.
It is easily accessible and rarely faces any glitches,” a departmental official told Metrolife.

When the app was launched in 2020 to help people read during the Covid-19 lockdowns, it garnered over 16,000 downloads in just one month.

While the app is down, you can access the content through their official website, www.karnatakadigital publiclibrary.org.

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Published 18 April 2024, 22:12 IST

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