Published: 22nd November 2018
How this Govt-run book donation campaign is taking tons of books from malls to Bengaluru's public libraries
Two government departments are getting Bengalureans to open up their book cupboards and donate books so that everybody can experience the joy of reading — over 4k books have poured in already.
With a view to create a habit of reading among youngsters and to add books of different genres to public libraries, the Department of Education in coordination with the Department of Public Libraries has started a Book Donation Campaign in Bengaluru. The campaign which started in early November will continue until the beginning of 2019. Since they want more people to get involved, the officials of both departments have placed a box in different malls in Bengaluru where citizens can come and drop their books.
The idea was originally conceived in Uttarakhand and has been replicated in Karnataka. Shalini Rajneesh, Principal Secretary, Primary and Secondary Education, Government of Karnataka explains, "Although we are doing this campaign for the first time in Karnataka, I had seen that it was implemented successfully in Uttarakhand. I contacted the officials of the Public Libraries Department and proposed this initiative. They liked the idea too. So we decided to set up the drop boxes in malls. Since it's festival season, there are lots of footfalls. Once the campaign is successful in Bengaluru, we plan to launch this initiative even in other cities and towns in Karnataka." In fact, Shalini herself has apparently donated a whopping 300 books towards this cause.
The Book Donation Campaign is happening at Garuda Mall, Mantri Square Mall, Gopalan Arcade Mall, Elements and Forum Mall. Shalini Rajneesh, Principal Secretary, Primary and Secondary Education has donated 300 books towards this campaign.
Fifteen days after it was launched, the campaign has received an overwhelming response from citizens and various book houses like Sapna Book House and Navakarnataka Publications. Till date, they have received more than 4000 books as donations. Once the collection is done, the books will be distributed across the city. Satish Kumar S Hosamani, Director, Department of Public Libraries say, "Once we complete this campaign, we plan to store them in our libraries in a separate section named 'Donated Books'. Bengaluru Urban and Rural has around 200 libraries and these books will later be divided among the libraries in North, South, East, West and Central zones. We have received books from famous Kannada authors like Dr Siddalingaiah, Dr Chandrashekhar Kambar and UR Ananthamurthy. Through this campaign, we are trying to create awareness about the existence of public libraries and also inculcate the habit of reading in adults, youth and children."
In order to make these books more accessible, public library officials have organized a membership drive for citizens. One can pick the applications from the library officials who are present at the mall in the Book Donation Campaign kiosk. A deposit of Rs 100 is collected for a lifetime membership. Members can borrow up to three books from any public library in the state provided they return it within 15 days.