Empty Libraries

2014-04-05

Himalayan News Service

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Library is the place where people could find reading materials: books, journals, articles, magazines, and so on about different subject matters. Public libraries still provide the facilities of this kind. Schools and colleges too have been now providing the facilities of library. The prospectus of colleges too clearly shows the picture of library with students reading various books. The fee structure involves the charges for library. The management lures or attracts freshers or those who come for new admission and promises of providing every type of facilities that a student may require. No doubt that it definitely includes library facility as well.

Those promises and attracting students by mentioning various facilities proves to be fake when one starts the new classes. A few months or say a few years (as in 1st Semester or 1st Year), the students get books. But when they get familiar with the system, they realize what the reality is or what the situation is.

The problem of books, at least only one for each student is becoming a great problem. If the college can’t even afford to give books to the students, why take admission in large number? In comparing to the money that students have spent in college for their studies, it seems to be worthless when the college cannot provide any books. Then why to charge for library? Isn’t that cheating? No parents have grown money in trees. They don’t have buckets of coins.

Although students complain from the very beginning regarding the books problem to the concerned authority, the management takes no immediate steps. They just say that next week or next month the books would be made available. But all those statements or so-called promises go in vain. Though books are available the books students really need are not there. What is the use of foreign books? It is true that books of Nepali writers are less but at least those could be made available. The management should understand that it is sometimes difficult to relate to the Nepalese context (I have experienced this difficulty). Students have to write reports or seminar papers. In such cases when referred to foreign texts, it’s somewhat troublesome.

It is not that there are no books but what we require is not there, at least that should be made available. Because the books are costly (Rs. 700 for a book), so even when the library has five books, the students can have the xerox copy of it. When the books are not there, students lose interest in learning. Even the teachers do not seem to understand the problem of students. They just ask for the presentations and other stuffs but why don’t they understand the problem students are facing.

From students’ perspective, management is the real problem. It is the irresponsibility of the management. Teachers of each course are asked to give the names of relevant books to the management but the management is so reluctant. They do not feel any responsibility even when the teachers have submitted the books’ name thrice. Isn’t the management being irresponsible towards its duty?

Students come to schools or colleges for learning. The books are the source of learning. But the books are scarce. The students need the books or other reading materials relevant to their levels/subjects. But the plight is that the place where books should be available does not have those books. That’s so ridiculous and pathetic. The students too go for protest if needed as their right to education has been somewhat violated. I think the parents should have regular visit to schools and colleges. Last but not least; the management should look upon this issue instead of only making bucks from the students.

 

Pratiksha Ghimire

BASW 3rd Year

K and K College