All it needs are publicity and funds

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, April 16: All that Assam Publication Board’s library needs is a massive publicity campaign, besides funds, so as to make it known among the readers that it has a huge collection of books, including some rare ones.

Since its establishment in 1977 at Bamunimaidam, Guwahati, it has been sinking into oblivion because of lack of publicity. Its location has all along been unknown to many booklovers. As though to bring the attention of readers to the library, the Publication Board had to shift the library to Chandmari from Bamunuimaidam in 2014. Former State Education Minister Sarat Barkataky remed the library as Chandra Prasad Saikia Prasanga Puthibharal. However, the library failed to draw the required attention of readers at its new site also. It had to shift the library back to its origil place at Bamunimaidam in 2015 again. Elaborate sitting arrangement has been made for readers in the library now. However, footfall of readers to the library is still not up to mark, and one of the reasons behind it is lack of publicity. Once it gets the required publicity it will certainly be on track.

According to Assam Publication Board’s assistant secretary Prabin Kumar Saikia, the library has a huge collection of books. “Our collection is huge, both in number and diversity of taste. Many people think that the library has only books published by the Assam Prakashan Parishad, and not others. Many other feels that it is only an office of the Assam Publication Board. These are misconceptions. Our collection is vast. We have a collection of books of diverse tastes – poetry books, story books, history books, novels, old jourls and magazines, books on culture, biographies, autobiographies, Assamese dictiory, science books and science fiction, children’s books and the like. Books are in Assamese, English and Hindi. Even though local readers seldom visit this library, research scholars from outside the State do come here as it has some rare collection that are very important for such them,” Saikia said, and added: “However, there are always scopes to make the collection of books richer. We still need some other Assamese books.”

According to Saikia, cash crunch is another problem afflicting the library. “The library needs to be made a state-of-the-art one with inclusion of more books in the collection. However, it can’t be done with funds,” he said, and added: “We’ve talked to Dispur for funds. We hope against hopes that the State Government will certainly extend funds for boosting the library infrastructure.”                      

Unlike other libraries that remain closed on Monday, this library remains closed on Sunday. This could also be one of the reasons behind poor footfall in the library. It remains open from 10 am to 4 pm.

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