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Tamil Nadu - Coimbatore Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Book lovers in Coimbatore ask for more

V.S. Palaniappan and M. Soundariya Preetha

Television and internet have not weaned visitors off libraries

— Photo: M. Periasamy

Demand for quality libraries:A view of the District Central Library in Coimbatore.

COIMBATORE: Can you believe it? For a city that has a high student population, libraries are few and far between in Coimbatore. Except for the District Central Library and its branches and a handful of private lending libraries, the city does not have much to its claim.

The district as a whole has one central library, 80 branch libraries, 90 village libraries, 50 part-time libraries and one mobile library to reach the unreached areas, apart from the private ones. Yet, with the hunger for knowledge rising, and having regard to the fact that more and more people are moving into Coimbatore for study or work, there is a demand for quality libraries that stack a wide range of books and multi-media resources.

The need for a large library with collections on a wide variety of subjects is acutely felt by parents who want their children to bone up their knowledge to face the challenges of life.

S.P. Manoharan, District Library Officer, says that though not proportionate to the growth of population, the membership figures and the number of persons who use the library indicate a steady growth.

Patronage for Government libraries is growing steadily despite their scattered presence.

The total number of members with Government libraries in the district is 4.5 lakh. Television and internet have not weaned visitors off the libraries.

People appearing for competitive examinations use them extensively.

There are several instances of visitors coming repeatedly for a particular book that is yet to be returned by a borrower, he says.

Rajeev Kamineni, a member of the Coimbatore Book Club, says borrowing books from libraries goes up during vacation as children and home makers throng libraries.

In most of the libraries in the city, 80 per cent of the stock is fiction, best sellers and children books. However, world-over, libraries now have audio-visual resources too for lending.

Libraries have become centres for several activities such as book launch, reading sessions, and book club meets. This concept should catch on here too.

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