Library means a collection of books. Many libraries are meant for public use. Such a library is called a public library. Public libraries are found in all the cities and in most of the towns. But most of the villages go without a library. Public libraries are found in a small number of villages. They are classed as village libraries. They are due to the selfless enthusiasm of some book-loving youths.
All the villagers-except a few are illiterate. Books have no fancy for them. So the village-library is a poor institution. It does not posses a suitable house. It sits in a small room. Over the room, there is a roof of straw. There is a flat ceiling of mud and bamboo under the roof. The ceiling is made as a check aganist fire. But this is not an effective check.
Items of wooden furniture are out of question. Because the library does not posses even an almirah. Books are kept on the shelves of bamboo. So, books are either moth-eaten or destroyed by rats and white ants.
The number of books are very small. Most of them are obtained by begging. The interesting novels are borrowed by the powerful men and are never returned. Nobody on earth ever dares to ask them to return the books. At last, those books are marked in the library catalogue as lost or damaged. It looks very funny, but is sorrowful too.
The village library is managed by a committee. One of the members acts as a part-time librarian. It is an honorary post. The improvement of the village library depends upon the efficiency of this committee. The committee can move the Government and get sufficient finance and set of radio. A night school for the illiterate adults may be attached to the village library by Government help.
Nobody can deny the usefulness of the village library. It inspires the villagers to be literate. It spreads knowledge among the villagers. It keeps the idle minds engaged and saves them from being a devil’s workshop.
The village library is a noble institution, no doubt. Its usefulness for the villagers is admitted by all. Hence, we should pay our immediate attention for the improvement of the village library.