'A bolt out of the blue'
The British Library in Bhopal, established in 1965 will get closed on feb 29th 2008. The sudden decision of the British Council management to close down its library here has taken not only the staff by surprise but the members as well. A living embodiment of cultural tolerance will be closed after 4 decades where the students of yester years and the present generation gained knowledge and exposure.
Same reason as given in Kerala was announced ‘reduce its physical presence’ in the country and to divert funds to mega projects in the fields of culture, education, science and research. With the closure of the two centres, the number of British libraries in the country would also be reduced.
Given the sorry state in which our libraries are in, the closure of the British Library is terrible. It was a professionally managed, well guarded and had an assortment of books. It was an important academic foundation, an opportunity for book lovers for interaction as well.
The questions remain unanswered are?
Why is it closing?
If, it’s closing. Will the protest from the library lovers change the mind of the British council?
Why did ICCSR refuse to take the responsibility of the library earlier?
Will the government own up the responsibility for running the library on its own?
Will the government succumb to the pressures of the pressure groups for the library?
Will an NGO come up to own the library?
Will the scholars come together for the library?
Can any other library counterbalance the loss of this library?