Libraries badly needed
WHEN a person steps into a library, an entire world of knowledge opens up to him.[TOP]
Besides, he can read books or magazines or newspapers peacefully as complete silence prevails here. All kinds of reference books are also easily available here.
I was astonished to read in a letter that was published recently regarding the behaviour of an Islamabad library staff towards a citizen who wanted to obtain a membership form. All his ef forts in getting one went in vain and he returned home most disappointed.
A librarian should always be ready to help readers/visitors in whatever way s/he can. S/he herself should be a bookworm and should know as much as possible about books. S/he should also know where books on a particular subject are kept in a library so as to aid readers/researchers.
Some decades back the two most popular libraries in Karachi used to be the USIS Library (popularly known as American Library) on Abdullah Haroon Road and the British Council Library on Bleak Road. Both lent books to members and held programmes for the interest of the public.
However, both have closed down now due to disturbances and strikes in the city.
Frere Hall Library also used to be popular at one time with newspaper readers and it used to hold a Sunday Bazaar in its garden until a decade back where books could be bought.
I suggest that air-conditioned libraries be opened in Karachi and other cities to promote reading culture. Each of them should also have an auditorium and a mini-theatre for screening documentaries and feature films. Besides, libraries should also provide computers where info can be looked up by readers/researchers and printers for getting out prints of articles. If facilities can be provided on a free basis, libraries will become extremely popular with students and other people.
Libraries should also keep newspapers and magazines in several languages so as to satisf y citizens.
Albert Samuel Karachi