VELLORE: The Katpadi branch library which was shifted to the Red Cross premises two months ago due to the damaged condition of the building is expected to get a spanking new building, a proposal for which has been forwarded to the government, according to District Library Officer (DLO) KR Palani.
Shifting of the library and two of the three librarians being moved out raised fears among the reading public that the facility was on the verge of closure. According to the readers’ circle president V Palani, the “library has 60,000 books in 5,000 square feet of space and 300 patrons while the readers circle has 6,000 paying members.”
Asked about the library’s functioning in its new premises V Palani said “as the new location is within walkable distance, there has been no reduction in those visiting the facility daily. We only hope that the library will continue to serve locals for long.”
Started in 1965 as a part-time venture at Gandhinagar, the library shifted to its own premises in 1990 when it started functioning from 8 am to 8 pm with three librarians. However, though the reading clientele increased over the years, the building lacked maintenance despite it being located in the ward where DMK general secretary and Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan lives.
It was then that readers’ circle members met him and requested his help to ensure the continued functioning of the library.
“Though the minister, and Vellore MP Kathir Anand promised Rs 50 lakhs each, nothing came of it,” D Palani said.
“The withdrawal of two librarians resulted in the facility functioning only between 8 am and 5 pm now raising fears that it would be slowly closed down,” said local resident SN Janardhanan.
“That so many people expressed interest in the library’s continued functioning is a welcome feature” he added.
However, DLO Palani said “once the library gets its own building it will also function from 8 am to 8 pm as before with three librarians.”