Monday, February 4, 2008

Hope for British Library, Thiruvananthapuram

The widespread concern over the plan to close down the British Library in Thiruvananthapuram seems to be paying off. Since no one is ready to let the library go, the idea now is for the Kerala government to take over its management. The BL has agreed to hand over the books and other facilities to the government. That's a significant breakthrough, since the earlier decision was to distribute the books to other British Libraries. The government chief secretary is preparing a report on the plan of action. (Report in The Hindu.)

So far so good. But the challenge for the government will be to maintain the standard the BL did. The only apprehension stems out of the way the Kerala Government Public Library, that also houses precious literature, is maintained: nothing much to write home about. It should make use of this opportunity to simultaneously modernise the Public Library as well.

The government of a state like Kerala -- which is universally known for the giant strides it has taken in literacy and education -- was only expected to take the intiative to breathe life into the British Library. Nevertheless, it deserves applause. One only hopes it puts forward a good proposal and takes the plan forward.

Earlier post: The British Library to close down


  1. Indeed that's a significant breakthrough!
    I too spent few years hanging in and around the TVM BL. That was late eighties and early nineties. Hope that ambience in the library is preserved.

  2. it is great that the library is still going to be maintained...hope the government does justice to it ...

  3. This is indeed good news. Now all we need is political patronage to pilfer books. :p

    Jokes aside this is good news indeed.

  4. yah, u will now find 45 people employed there, 12 tea boys, 4 peons, 6 drivers....i hope not & that they will do a serious job..

  5. It is definitely a laudable beginning - Govt planning to run the BL. If it is going to hand over the activities to Govt babus, we will be having another public library like inefficient set up. That is not what is expected by BL members.

    If govt stands behind the present machinery of BL, allowing the same management to run it in the same way, it will make sense. For the BL member, the change in management should not be felt.

    N T Nair, a member of BL since 1964

  6. Thanks for sharing this news. I posted your news item on my blog. You are welcome to cite this link in your blog.