State Central Library wallows in neglect

State Central Library wallows in neglect
Highlights

  • The library gets staff replacements only when someone dies while in service
  • The library now has only 42 employees out of 150 sanctioned staff strength
  • Fifteen out of 42 staff members were appointed on compassionate grounds
  • Compassionate appointments have also stopped for the past five years

Hyderabad: The 128-year old State Central Library home to about five-and-a-half lakh books with a four-shift duty roster have been running on a unique staff appointing pattern for the last two decades.

According to sources in the State Directorate of Public Libraries, it has 12 sections and runs from 7 am to 12 midnight catering to different sections of readers.

However, the running of the library has become an uphill task now as out of about 150 sanctioned staff strength of the library, it is reduced to 42 only.

Several pleas were made to the State government during the past two decades for the recruitment of staff against the posts fell vacant on account of retirement and death of employees while in service.

Speaking to The Hans India, a senior official from the State Central Library said, the library has several unique features for being a storehouse for rare manuscripts and books of different languages.

Some of its collections in Persian, Arabic are not even available anywhere in the world. That apart, it has thousands of books in Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi languages. Those who know these languages handled these sections have either retired or demised.

The officials said the issue has been represented to the successive governments and the dire need of staff for the smooth functioning of the library.

But in vain. Following the ban on recruitment since 1992, the library has left with only one way of getting replacements to take someone in the existing vacancies i.e. appointments made on the compassionate grounds.

This way, against the sanctioned strength of 150, currently the library has only around 42 staff members. Among them, nearly 15 were being appointed on compassionate grounds following the demise of one of their parents while in service.

The situation has turned bad to worse for unless one dies while in service the library has no way of getting replacements. Even this is not happening for the last five years.

"The files sent to the Hyderabad District Collectorate, who is the nodal officer for making compassionate appointments have so far yielded no results making the running of the library an uphill task on a daily basis," said another official looking after the library administration.

Adding to these woes, the lone security guard left to take care of the library premises has taken voluntary retirement on health grounds. This is making the staff at the library scary.

Because the security wing of the city police descends at the library premises periodically along with the dog squads to search the entire building, citing an existing threat perception of the building.

It was against this backdrop that some of those appointed on compassionate grounds as attendees were assigned the duties security guards," the sources said.

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