• Friday, Dec 09, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

The death throes of a century-old library

  • Published at 07:57 am May 21st, 2018
  • Last updated at 09:06 am May 21st, 2018
kurigram-library
Although the library has 160 registered members, none of them appear to have dropped by in the last 15 years

Although the library has 160 registered members, none of them appear to have dropped by in the last 15 years

The Kurigram Public Library is 123 years old. Established in 1895, it is the oldest library in the district and among the oldest libraries in the country. Yet, victim to the lamentable culture of neglecting heritage sites in Bangladesh, it now lies in a sad state of decline.

Despite its enviable collection of exotic books and that rare tranquil seating area for a quiet read, there are no visitors, except for the occasional newspaper reader.

The librarian comes at 10am and leaves at 1pm, and returns at 4:30pm. At 6pm he closes doors to the library. That is all his job stipulates, for a meager salary of Tk2,000.

Although the library has 160 registered members, none of them appear to have dropped by in the last 15 years. No membership fees are collected. Instead, the library earns Tk4,000 per month from the 10 shops set up in front it. Between the rent, government funding, and NGO donations, the Kurigram Public Library manages to get by.

Amid all the irregularities and the gross negligence, it comes as a great relief that a committee to run the library does exist. Mohammad Shahabuddin, the incumbent general secretary was elected over two decades ago. Treasurer Samiul Haque admitted that the committee rarely meets.  The deputy commissioner of Kurigram serves as the president of the committee by default. But Sultana Parveen, the DC, claims she is a newcomer and knows little to nothing about the library.

Unfortunately, they appear unaware of locals encroaching on library properties. A mahogany tree and two eucalyptus trees on the premises were cut down. The library square has been appropriated as a parking lot and storage shed.

Readers have long since turned away from libraries as other more convenient modes of entertainment have become mainstream. But it is a combination of negligence, greed, and lack of awareness that is slowly killing the Kurigram Public Library.

51
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail