MC brings library to brink of disaster

Lack of facilities, funds

DERA GHAZI KHAN-Municipal Library is fighting for its survival with rickety furniture, depilated building, uncleanliness, lack of funds and theft of books.
The Municipal Corporation (MC) mayor who is also a businessman has failed to run the library as he has no interest in intellectual activities. The library was established in 1952 at the present place of City Park. Later, then senior advisor to chief minister Punjab Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa inaugurated renovated building on 22 February 2010. Presently it has a collection of 20,000 books, most of which are dust ridden while 1335 books have been lost or stolen in last 15 years. It has total 6816 square feet covered area and nine rooms including one reading room, six library rooms, one store room and one computer room.
The computer room had been occupied by In-charge Medical Cell of the Municipal Corporation. PTCL Internet connection is disconnected and two official computers are also non-functional.
The library has 11,754 Urdu, 7,744 English, 45 Punjabi, 10 Persian, 30 Arabic, 367 Saraiki and 50 other language books. The authorities have not purchased even a single new book to the library in the last three decades. 22 Urdu newspapers and 02 English newspapers are being purchased on daily basis for the readers.
After the retirement of the last librarian Abdul Rasheed in 2012, no qualified librarian could be posted here, even the post of librarian was eliminated on April 19, 2017, just after four months of new setup of Municipal Corporation. An assistant of Engineering Branch MC, who has just matriculation education, has been posted as librarian.
Total registered members are 160 including 97 general readers, 40 students and 23 ladies. The number of readers has decreased in last 15 years at were 450 in 2003.
Library budget for current financial year 2017-18 is Rs400,000, which is only 0.07 percent of total budget of Municipal Corporation. Other financial resource is membership fee, which is Rs48,000 in current year, but it was Rs62,100 in the last year.
The readers complained that there is no clean washroom and drinking water facility for them. It lacks foreign magazines, not to speak of audio-visual aids that have become part and parcel of modern education. The readers demanded appointment of a qualified librarian, reconstruction of the building, provision of the facilities of drinking water, adequate budget, new books, generator, qualitative furniture and IT equipment’s like Internet, Desktop PCs, printers, photocopiers, scanners.

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