Friday, June 29, 2007

old media: build some brick and mortar libraries

The other day I read a piece in the Express about a library in CP that has 700 employees.... I was shocked, SHOCKED to discover that there was a library in CP.

That it had 700 employees seemed a minor matter.

Seriously - Why are there no decent libraries in India? Even the top universities have woefully inadequate collections. Aren't there any philanthropists who want their names on big buildings? Once upon a time I wrote about the powerful Indian diaspora.... Come on guys: Pony up.

In Delhi, at least, there should be one public library that bears some similarity to the New York Public Library--that should be the goal, anyway. If necessary, it could be a multi-university library shared by the students / faculty of DU, JNU, IIT, etc and open to the public for a fee. No doubt most of the big publishing houses would donate their "classics" to get good PR in one of the few countries where the book business is booming. And the guys on the Forbes list of the richest folks in the world might even toss in a few bucks.

Who knows, it could help with all that "knowledge economy" crapola everybody keeps rabbitting on about.

3 comments:

fernando said...

One the pleasant changes moving from Delhi to Hong Kong was having access to a decent central library. The funding, like so many things here, comes from a government regulated gambling monopoly.

But shiny libraries aside, the levels of non-vocational reading here appear to be alarmingly low compared to Delhi.

Shivam Vij said...

couldn't agree more with you. you may want to see http://www.shivamvij.com/2006/10/virgil-and-plutarch-in-sarojini-nagar.html

Ashutosh said...

there are several multimillionaires and even billionaires in delhi who could fund a library. you know what the challenge is? being the first one. i bet the day one of them funds it, you'll see many more libraries being funded and each one bigger and better than previous one! you'll have to write a post on why are there so many libraries in a row in downtown delhi..hehe