Libraries come back to life

Lockdown hit preparations, say candidates appearing for competitive examinations

The students are back in the courtyards of the major libraries in the city. They are back after a nine-month hiatus sitting on the steps, on the lawns and on foldable garden chairs reading their books and occasionally glancing at their cellphones.

“The lockdown of libraries have hit our preparations. We lost nine months as our books were in the city and we moved to our villages,” says Manipal from Gajwel who is preparing for SI competitive examinations spending the day reading outside the State Central Library at Afzalgunj. While the officials marked their attendance and carried out their regular duties, the reading rooms and lending facilities in the libraries were shuttered for nine months.

“When we returned the chairs we kept at the library got rusted and became useless. The only facility we use inside the library is the newspapers section and that was opened on February 20,” says K. Linganna, who is preparing for teacher as well as SI postings.

Other functioning libraries in Hyderabad like the State Library at Chikkadpally and Shahalibanda have a similar scene where students bring their own chairs and park them around the building and read their own competitive exam books. “The libraries don’t acquire books for competitive examinations. We are Telugu medium students but there are no books to help us prepare for exams,” says Mr. Linganna.

“The Telangana government which was formed on the sentiment has not purchased books on the struggle. Libraries have no literature on Telangana Statehood movement while the students are asked questions about it,” says K. Chandramohan, a publisher.

The election to Legislative Council hasn’t helped as the election code in force affecting book purchases by the Grandhalaya Samastha. “For the last two years there have been zero purchases by the libraries in the state. Only Vikarabad, Sangareddy and Rangareddy districts have acquired books. Purchases through the Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation have also been affected as they need a matching grant from the State to purchase books,” says Mr. Chandramohan.

In the absence of book purchases by libraries in the State, students and bibliophiles are left to their own devices for gaining knowledge.

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