In the recent past, when almost all public spaces at some point have feared being in existence or relevant, here comes a place that reinforces the faith in community spaces. Why they exist and why they are needed?
It is natural to mistake the recently opened Digital Library, Thubrahalli, Mahadevapura Zone for an IT company office or an elite university's library.
"Nearly ten years in the making, but it still calls for celebration as these are the kinds of public spaces we urgently need," says the librarian Lavanya as she not just welcomes the members but encourages the non-members to come and experience the space.
One round of the library and well-lit interiors, staff in masks and desks placed at a distance invite one to walk-in further. Like a place with a true public spirit, the library aims at easy access. In practice, with a lot many public libraries, the access formalities are designed to discourage people from joining. Right from the documentation required to long waiting lists; sometimes it is the inflated membership fees.
Meet the welcoming Librarian Lavanya as she encourages all to come and experience this new space. 4 photos your Aadhar card & Rs. 200 gets you lifetime membership: Gain access to digital books, computers array of newspapers, magazines and reference work. @WFRising Lets do more!! pic.twitter.com/C5NKDZviXQ— Anjali Saini (@anjali_WFR) November 27, 2020
How can you obtain the life-time membership?
But four photos, your Aadhar card and Rs 200 get one-lifetime membership at the Digital Library, Thubrahalli. One can gain access to digital books, computers, an array of national and regional newspapers in several languages, magazines and even reference work.
Rare books and research materials are something the public libraries are generally known for, but not clean space, polished interiors and well-maintained infrastructure. "We have around six computers, once can browse the internet, books, we have an array of magazines, from news to lifestyle to children's magazines," adds the librarian Lavanya.
Local MLA Aravind Limbavali had promised to set up a digital library about ten years ago. It has taken this much time for the project to come through, courtesy several roadblocks that came up along the way. The project was once again included in his task force. The library building was completed by 2017 and the MLA Limbavali handed it over from the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) to the State Library Department the same year. Till last year, no books, infrastructure or staff were in place in the building.