World Of Books

Neha Khajuria
“A large hall, stacked wisdom
Filled with silence, a public kingdom”?
Yes!! , you got it right! The answer of this riddle is ‘Library’. From the day one of our school we come in a relationship with books, reading and knowledge which continues with our breaths. Activities related to books widen our horizon of knowledge, develop emotions and fires the imagination apart from reinforcing language and vocabulary. Libraries play a vital role in developing reading skills and love for books.
According to the Department of Libraries and Research J&K, 140 public libraries are set up across the state i.e 59 in Jammu province and 81 in Kashmir province since 1879 when the first public library was set up in the state.ShriRanbir Singh library, situated at Kachichawni , is one of the oldest and the biggest library in the Jammu province with a collection of around 65000 books and membership of 13000 citizens. Irwin Kour, Chief librarian SRS library, tells, “it is very pleasing to see readers hall full of students. Even the middle age people also come to us for books, magazines and all. I think Jammuties love reading, maybe that’s the reason of our always growing records” (smiles).The library has an ethnic and antique designer building with a lofty, priceless treasure of knowledge and supporting staff. Library premises enclose office, reference room, reading hall, Raja Rammohan Ray section, children section and different sections for varied subjects.
Aarti Malhotra, reader, says, “no entertainment is so cheap as reading nor any pleasure so lasting and as far as the SRS library is concerned, I feel it needs a bit of renovation and paint as it looks graceful from outside but when you come in, it turns scary. Lighting and furniture should be changed also”. Another reader Mrinal Mahajansays, “there is no internet facility in any of the public library in Jammu nor you will find any charter or inauguration stone engraving its history or information,,,,, this is really disheartening! Authorities should do something regarding this”
Surveys across the globe indicate the declining interest of youngsters especially children in reading. The scenario is almost the same in Jammu. Priyasharma, homemaker, says, “it’s not only because of internet or television, somewhere down the line school curriculum and fashion of tuitions is also responsible as it leaves no scope for a child to peep into un-academic book”. When talked to a school going boy Ishaan (Std V) he told “I want to have my own personal library where I can sit after dusk. After my tuition and guitar classes it gets very late”
When a group of students were questioned about the best studying public place in the city, Dhanvantri library or the Central library of JU stood pioneer. Though this library is an academic library accessible to its registered members only but it caters a large chunk of youngsters who  are enrolled in various programmes under JU. This library was set up in the year 1965 in a single room but now it is a four storey building with three large reading halls in addition to the textbook section, periodical section, Jammu and Kashmir section, reference section, browsing room for newspapers and magazines enclosing a total area of about 93,000 square feet which includes stack area of about 36000 squarefeet. Its building is lavish and modular with facilities like photocopier,LCD projector, INFLIBNET, CDROM databases and inter-connected computers terminals at selected sites.
Dhanvantri library possesses LIBSYS software and RFID technology for easy stacking, allocation of books and for theft protection. Moreover different departmental libraries are also available to the students which are the extension of Central library. Manu Sharma, student of JU says, “Library provides handsome facilities. There are arrangement like generators, internet, separate chambers for students, water facilities and toilets. There is a very pleasant environment for studying”
Dr. Anita Sachar, Assistant Librarian CL, says, “as CL provides 24X7 access to students, you will always find reading rooms busy. This feedback of students encourages us for better service”. She continues “to all the readers I want to say that, the more you will own the more you will gain ”
Department of Libraries and Research J&K have issued an online portal through which one can have easy access of directory of public libraries and other information. An interesting option available on this portal is the ‘Catalogue Search’ through which one can easily find the location, availability and status of the desired book or manuscript. It’s URL address is
Books are more than pages, board, glue and thread- they are artifacts of the human spirit and hand. Visiting libraries and reading is a long term habit, can be developed at any age and at any point of time, which ultimately forces you to the gateway of knowledge room. So all I can conclude with, is :
“I’ve travelled the world twice over, Met the famous saints and sinners,
Poets and artists, kings and queens, old stars and hopeful beginners,
I’ve been where no-one’s been before, learned secrets from writers and cooks,
All with one library ticket, to the wonderful world of books”


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