READING maketh a man perfect. To achieve this, reading facilities must be available in abundance and be easily accessible. Developing a reading habit needs motivation and incentive. Sadly, in our society the reading habit has all but disappeared.
One’s interest in reading is infused from early life in the early years of the school. It is mandatory for every educational institution to house a library having requisite and relevant books.
Sadly the plight of libraries in most of the educational institutions is disappointing to say the least. A school library is set up in a small room having a scant number of books, mostly those that are donated.
Even more discouraging is the fact that the school library mostly opens on special occasion. In the higher classes, the students are too busy to even bother visiting the library.
Information technology has transformed the habit of reading books to glancing at digital information. Smart phones and unlimited internet service have administered the coup de grace! Hitherto social sciences students were to be found absorbed in library, now they get their information any time anywhere.
Generally, school libraries do not extend any incentive to the students for reading books. The paucity of funds has also reduced the role of the library in educational institutions and the latest reading material is not affordable by even top-notch schools.
Now more tha ever there is need for public library where all and sundry can visit to read books the good old way, acquire information digitally and generally ponder and reflect on God’s universe and its mysteries.
M. Saleem Ansari
Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2019