In internet age, only a few takers for lone children’s library in Ludhiana

LUDHIANA: The only children’s library housed in a dome-shaped building in Children Traffic Training Park, Model Town, hardly sees any visitors.

The Ludhiana had renovated the library in 2015 hoping to give boost to the reading habit among children.

The designated librarian and many staffers recall a time when the place used to be filled with children.

Daya Rani, the librarian of the children’s library, said, “The library used to loved by book lovers. We used to get about 20-30 children every day and there were more than 200 members. But now, even when the membership fee is only Rs 130 per year, we hardly get two to three kids a day. I feel that the reason for this is either easy availability of online e-book platforms or unawareness of the fact that there’s even a library here.”

The upsurge in use of internet reading platforms are taking over libraries and books.

Kanav, a student of DAV school, said, “The reason that I don’t visit the library often despite having a membership is that the books are not latest or of my interest. It leaves me with no option, but to turn to online bookstores and e-books. It would have been amazing if the books were updated or some new added after every few months.”

Many young readers are keen to read books and have a craze of reading new novels. But the library fails to provide newfangled books. Even children who have membership of the library barely visit the library because of the reason.

The designated librarian said, “The order of the books that are brought in the library is placed by the municipal corporation. They place orders of books often on the demands of members. But as there is hardly any active member, we have not been able to get proper feedback. Due to the very reason, there hasn’t been a placement of order since 2015, when the library was renovated. To meet the needs, we require feedback, so we can forward it to the authorities who can then look into the matter.”

Vani, a 17-year-old resident, said, “Recently I visited the library after I heard about it from my friend. As I was completely unaware of its existence, I didn’t expect much from the place. To my astonishment, I found that even though the books aren’t updated, they are kept in a very good condition.”

“Even though it doesn’t have frequent visitors, they keep a lot of magazines and available newspapers in all three languages. The library’s structure is so beautiful that anybody would want to revisit. I believe that the place should initiate book donation boxes. If updated with the latest books, the library would turn into my new favourite place in the city.”

Meanwhile, there are a large number of people who are unaware that such a library exists in Ludhiana. Shreya Kapoor, a book lover, said, “I have been completely unaware of the fact that the city had a children’s library. I am an avid reader who never had an access to a library. But now I would surely visit the library.”

During the time of renovation, the library has received a lot of support from area residents. According to officials, they had donated furniture and books for the library. Children’s books in Punjabi, and English are kept in the library.

Residents had already donated around 1,000 books and some had also promised to donate books worth Rs 1 lakh. “The role of residents is surely appreciated,” the then MC commissioner had said.

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