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Street library: it’s a real page-turner in Tiruchi

The city corporation which launched the first street library in December 2018 to infuse healthy reading habit among both children and adults alike has cause for satisfaction.

The sprawling 10,000 square feet library constructed at a cost of ₹20 lakh, at Officer’s Colony in the K. Abhishekapuram zone attracts at least 20 persons every day, mostly students. “Many books stocked here are reference books for engineering students, therefore a lot of them come here, and have even formed study circles,” says S. Abinaya, the librarian.

A large signboard in the entrance indicates the library’s membership policy- ‘lend a book, take a book.’

“There is no fee for the library. If one wants to take a book home, they just have to replace it with another book, which means they lend one, they take one,” says Ms. Abinaya.

Young children have been visiting the library to read novels and some also bring their own books to sit and read. “The stone benches here create a very good reading environment. We love coming here to spend our evenings,” said P. Ashiq. “Our parents will not allow us to go far to big libraries, and so this one which is very close is convenient,” he added.

The library is looking to increase its variety of collections soon, says, Ms. Abinaya. “I have requested for procurement of children’s books and novels for leisure reading. These will help children to imbibe the habit of reading for entertainment,” she says.

Owing to the street library’s success, the corporation is looking to expand soon, says N. Ravichandran, city corporation commissioner. “We have received several requests by residents and residential associations to construct a street library in their locality. We are considering its feasibility,” he said. “We are also trying to see if mini-libraries can be set up in parks,” he said.

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