Ufaq Fatima

Srinagar’s SPSCL, a library only in name!

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Srinagar: Almost four years have passed since the Shri Pratap Singh Central Library (SPSCL) at Srinagar’s Lal Mandi was hit by floods, but the deluge-ravaged library is yet to get a makeover and remains functional only partially.

The massive deluge in Kashmir in September 2014 wreaked havoc with the SPSCL too, with thousands of important books including some rare historic literature getting completely damaged.

However, since then not to talk of authorities trying to restore what was lost, the library itself has not been made functional fully.

According to the officials at SPSCL, the library, which is semi-functional at Rajbagh, issues only the “text-books” ort to be precise, the books that are meant for the preparation for board and other competitive exams.

“Following 2014 floods, we transferred only academic and competitive examination books to Rajbagh. We are facing space constraints here and have decided to transfer the rest of the books to the main building in the city centre once it becomes functional,” said Ishrat Majeed, Chief Librarian, SPSCL.

“No doubt the library is not functional fully right now, but to benefit the students we have started programs for the NEET and JKCET since last year by providing video lectures to the aspirants in addition to making other required books available for them,” Majeed added.

When asked that even the main-building for the Central Library near MA Road has already missed several deadlines for its completion, the librarian said: “As per the recent updates available to me, the main-building located near MA road is almost complete and will be inaugurated very soon.”

“Once the main building becomes functional, apart from huge collection of books, the building will have manuscripts, art gallery, researcher cabins, auditorium and other facilities,” she said.

The record of daily visitors at SPCL suggests that in last three years, the library has been able to benefit a certain section of people that include high school students and those preparing for the competitive exams.

Taking to the ‘Kashmir Images’, Khursheed Ahmad, in-charge Librarian SPSCL said,  “Presently, we are issuing books for competitive exams like NEET, Civil Services, JKSSB. The library witnesses huge rush of students on daily basis. Last month we issued 30-40 books regarding JEE and NEET examination.”

Now this figure itself tells it all – a library issuing just 30-40 books in a month’s time speaks it all about its health!

However, a number of NEET aspirants, who were present in the library, told ‘Kashmir Images’ that with all the books being easily available at the library, their preparation for NEET became very easy as many of the books they availed books are costly.

“I was able to prepare smoothly for the NEET exam because of availability of the diverse books in the library,” said an aspirant of NEET.

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