Hope for State Central Library

Hope for State Central Library
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Hope For State Central Library. With the establishment of a separate Directorate of Public Libraries for Telangana, authorities are pinning hopes for better funds to give a facelift to the library.

With the establishment of a separate Directorate of Public Libraries for Telangana, authorities are pinning hopes for better funds to give a facelift to the library.

The rooms may still be dingy and the racks inside the library remind one of the lack of maintenance, but the staff at the State Central Library are hoping against hope that the library would regain its lost glory. The reason--the formation of a separate directorate of public libraries for the state of Telangana is being seen as a saviour.

The library has fallen to deplorable levels for want of funds. Unable to procure new books and improve the infrastructure, the library which houses over five lakh books is today not in a position to get enough periodicals. V Srinivas Rao, chief librarian, says, “There is also a lack of staff. Out of the 105 sanctioned staff, the library has just 70 which is inclusive of 16 outsourced employees.”

Even the restoration of the heritage block is moving at snail’s pace. Out of the Rs 2.33 crore budget, only 50 per cent has been released. For about two years the main block was out of bounds for people to use. A senior staff member said that the work should have been over by now but AP Educational Welfare Infrastructure Development Corporation (APEWIDC), the nodal agency that is overseeing the work, has failed to quickly release funds.

Another staff member says that the annual budget required to keep the library going and adding latest books amounts to just Rs 25 lakh minus the salaries to the staff. There is hope that funds would be earmarked for the library and additional staff would be recruited.

Even though the staff at the library is upbeat about the prospects of a turnaround, the Directorate of Public Libraries, Telangana, too is understaffed. With just five of them and without a head, expecting changes at the moment may seem farfetched.

Srinivas Rao says that 5,600 rare books have been identified for digitisation work. Once the funds are available work would begin. Also when the long pending work in the main block that was built in 1934 would be completed it would make a huge difference to the image of the library.

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