CHINCHINIM: A village library with potential… and challenges

Special to Goanet, from Nelson Lopes Chinchinim

Dr Alvaro de Loyola Furtado tried in vain to have a library at Chinchinim.  The credit for launching the present Government Library, started in 1983, goes to senior education department official S.V. Kurade.

Kurade gave a three-day deadline to identify a suitable venuefor the library.  The room in the  Government primary school was agreed to be electrified under private initiative.  The library is naturally well-lit and ventilated; it has about seven tube lights and three fans.

Its current infrastructure also consists of two computer tables, four newspaper reading stands, 15 storage cupboards, four paper racks, two large tables for the spread of magazines, periodicals, children magazines, three computers ready with electrical fittings, and 25 arm chairs.

The library has a stock of more than 6000 books in  English including encyclopedias, gazette copies,   and the vacancy and tender bulletin stocked in three cupboards, about a thousand books in Konkani  (Devanagari), 50 in Konkani (Roman) including dramas, romances, encyclopedias; 50 books in Hindi;  Marathi two full cupboards; newspapers, 4 in English and one in Konkani; 32 magazines including periodicals, weeklies etc catering to all sections.

There are no college or higher secondary books, and vocational subject books catering to the local institutes.  There is a request for Hindi reference books and Konkani newspapers in the Devanagari script

The membership is 755 with a fee of Rs 10 (old) and Rs 25.

At times, the books are not returned and this is a problem.  Old magazines and one book is issued at a time for a week; the provision for levying a fine is not a deterrent.

When the library was set on fire in 1987 during the Konkani agitation, a large number of books were
burnt to ashes and some were taken away.  The Public Works Department was given an ultimatum to restore the door and they did close the library entrance after a long gap.  Records of membership were lost and so also the details of amounts due from members.

The timings of the library are from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m and 4.p.m. to 6.30 p.m.  The first librarian was a retrenched government school teacher and had no knowledge or interest in library maintenance.

Socorro Antao, the present librarian, has undergone a certificate course, besides having taken part in a number of refresher and orientation courses.  He joined in 1988 and has  27 years of experience.  He loves his work and devotedly attends to visitors and is well accepted, being a local.  The village panchayat has a yearly budget allocation of Rs 20,000 towards the purchase of books, which is being utilised for the purpose.

Readership in Marathi has dwindled from earlier 15-20 to nil.  The books could be deployed elsewhere.  The non-availability of an inverter is hindering starting of the Internet facility and use of idle computers.

The room and the gate could be shifted to the southern end to avoid a disturbance in using the toilet.  The toilet is un-hygienic and needs urgent attention and repairs.  The present library committee needs to meet at fixed intervals to take readers’ needs into consideration.

The past library committee along with the Education Inspector Mr Kolambkar used to select books from book stall on holidays, with previous arrangement and request from readers.  The present ornamental committee needs to be consulted so as not to stock books for which there is absolutely no readership.

An additional room could be added with the consent of the Village Church Fabrica to cope with current space constraints.  Alternatively, the closed veranda with glass fittings be considered to enhance available place.  Old newspapers need to be disposed within three months instead of six months as at present.

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About fredericknoronha

Alt.Publishing. Journalism. Books. Cyberspace. Networking.

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