Srinagar: As the government has sanctioned two smart libraries for Srinagar city, the people have welcomed the move but also called for upgrading the existing libraries. A common demand is for the libraries to have more academic books and to be open for longer hours.
“It is a good step by the government. Students need these types of libraries. But it would be even better if they upgrade the existing libraries,” said Sadaf Shabir, a college student in Srinagar.
District Development Commissioner (DC) Srinagar, Dr Shahid Choudhary, had recently visited the SPS Library in Srinagar and announced that two smart libraries would be established in the city for the general public.
Some people who regularly visit the SPS Library said that it suffers from lack of books and space crunch. The SPS Library opened on October 24, 2018. Every day, 70 to 100 people visit this library. It has thousands of books but students say they cannot find academic books that they need for purposes of education.
Ata Hussain Khan, who comes almost daily to the SPS Library, said, “We face many problems in the library. Last week, the authorities installed wifi facilities but till now we don’t have the password to access that. Also, whenever we ask the authorities of the library for certain books, it takes months to get them. A student can’t wait months for a book.”
Officials of the library told Kashmir Reader that they do not have enough staff. “We have some other problems as well but we are trying to solve them as soon as possible. This is a public library and we don’t keep academic books. We have, however, books which can help students in competitive exams like IAS, KAS, etc. Students can get academic books in academic libraries. Only once a year does the library get new books, which many students ask for. The concept of smart libraries is a good idea. It will take some time to upgrade the traditional libraries,” an official said.
Naveed Ahmad Najar