The public library in K.Gollahalli is in a state of disrepair. It needs an electricity connection and a better building say residents.
The damp building of K.Gollahalli gram panchayat library has no electricity and has poor ventilation. Children who use the library on a daily basis have to use torch lights after sunset. Sahana, a student who frequently visits the library said, “I come to the library daily, but due to a lack of fans, I cannot stay at the library for long. Sometimes, if I need to visit the library after sunset, I have to bring a torch with me, so that I can read.”
Karnataka Public Libraries Act, 1965, implemented by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj states that rural libraries have to be citizen and child-friendly. They must have a decent building, good infrastructure, and proper supply of electricity, study desks for children and armchairs for senior citizens.
Suresh, a senior citizen who also uses the library said, “We have complained to the Gollahalli Gram Panchayat about the lack of electricity supply in the library, but they always overlook our problem by saying that they have no funds to provide electricity or construct a new building.” He said that after several complaints the Gram Panchayat did install some wires to provide electricity, but after a few days \ there was a short-circuit. \.
Ramya, another student who resides in the village said, “My mother brings books for me from Kengeri. She does not allow me to go to library because the building is totally damaged and can fall at any point. There is no light or fan, so I stopped going to the library.”
However, Krishnappa, the library-in-charge, said, “The library has no problems. The Gram Panchayat even collects six percent cess from the residents of the village to maintain the flow of funds into the library. The Gram Panchayat is planning to utilize this fund to install the library.” He added that the Gram Panchayat is planning to build a new library.
Madhu, member of K.Gollahalli Gram Panchayat said, “The gram panchayat has no funds to improve the conditions of the building.” He said that they have submitted applications for seeking funds for the library but they did not get any response yet.
Dr. S.Y. Surendra Kumar, professor of Political Science at the Bangalore University said, “The lack of funds is just an excuse because gram panchayats get funds from the department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj to maintain these public libraries.” He added that for a gram panchayat, a library is of least priority because maintaining the library will not yield them any votes. So, they would rather channelize those funds, which were allocated for the development of the library, towards other projects likeroad construction, building water taps etc. He also mentioned that the Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj do not conduct inspections after they provide funds.
Anjanappa, the Director of Gram Panchayat Section, Department of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj said, “The department will look into the problem at the earliest and will conduct inspection of the library and will soon start the construction of a new building for the library.”