Millennium Post

No restrictions for readers at Bhowanipore's 'street library'

Kolkata: The joint initiative of the local councillor and a private media and management institute in the city, has led to the unveiling of a unique library at Bhowanipore in South Kolkata, where the reader is free to take books home free of cost. The only condition is that he/she has to return the book after they finish reading it.
"The street library has been set up on the wall of Vidyanjali High School at the crossing of Allenby Road and Dr Rajendra Road. Racks have been attached to the wall where the books are kept and a shade has been made over the racks to prevent the books from getting soaked during the rain. There is no librarian or guard to see who are taking the books. People are free to take the books round the clock, any time they wish," councillor of ward 70 Ashim Basu said.
When asked about the possibility of theft as there is nobody to keep a watch on the 'street library', Basu said, "Believe me, a majority of the people who have taken books have returned them. A number of people who have taken books have come back with more books to add to the collection of the library. The library has started on May 5 and already, fifteen days have passed. There are a number of vagabonds who sleep on the footpath in the adjacent area, but there has been no theft," Basu added.
The library presently has 400 books, mainly in the form of story books, comics and novels in languages like English, Bengali, Hindi and Gujrati.
Principal of Vidyanjali High School Saswati Dutta, who has also contributed to the setting up of the library by gifting its wall, said "Free libraries are a fascinating platform to connect, share and exchange ideas, books and network with people."
Basu, however, said that as the stock of books increases, he will install CCTVs to keep a track on the records.

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