Madhumita Rajan, core group member of Free Libraries Network - FLN writes about the state of public libraries and the need for policy in Citizen Matters.
"The Delhi Public Library charges Rs 25-100 as an annual membership fee. The State Central Library in Jayanagar, Bangalore charges 200 as lifetime membership fees. The State Central Library in Cubbon park is a reference only library with no fees but no facility to borrow books. In Chennai, there is an annual fee of RS 10 and a deposit of up to Rs 50 to borrow books.
True, these fees are nominal. However, in our country where a large percentage of the population spends Rs 6 out of the 10 that they earn on food, even “nominal” fees become barriers. Second, when there are taxes funding the libraries and they are ‘public’ libraries, why charge a fee at all?
Free libraries reflect that the space is open and welcoming to all... "
Read the full article here.