Our public libraries need attention; here’s why we should care

06th March 2023

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.

Free libraries reflect that the space is open and welcoming for all. They can transform communities. Gramotthan, a free community library in Odisha under the Free Libraries Network. Pic courtesy: Madhumita Rajan
The Community Library Project
Dharam Bhavan, C-13 Housing Society
South Extension Part -1
New Delhi - 110049
Donations to The Community Library Project are exempt from tax under section 80G of the Income Tax Act. Tax exemption is only valid in India.
Illustrations provided by Priya Kuriyan.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
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