The library is the most important place in schools and colleges. But unfortunately most of the schools and institutions lack a good library. In Madurai, most of the schools have fewer shelves containing books which are mainly for display purposes. Colleges both private and government do not have a good library facility. Recent researches say that Madurai schools and colleges suffer a lot from this problem. The library is a place mainly for students’ reference in their studies. It is actually mandatory for each and every educational institution to have a good equipped library.
But it has been observed that maximum schools and colleges fail to provide a perfect library for their students. The students are not allowed to read books for increasing their knowledge or to refer them during exam preparation. They are also restricted from being allowed to take the books to their home. This problem has gradually decreased the dependency on books for the students. They have decreased their habit to refer books or to visit the library to know more about their subjects.
Absence of a good library at school not only creates a blank solution for the students but also leaves the post of a librarian vacant for years. In most of the schools in Madurai, the post is vacant and the library is not at all given importance besides other important places inside the school building. More than 60% schools suffer from the same problem.
Madurai consists of nine corporation high schools and 194 government run schools, among which, 102 are the high schools and remaining 92 are higher secondary schools. There are also 15 corporation higher secondary schools in the jurisdiction of Madurai covering Melur and Usilampatti. Researches show that among all these schools, most of the schools lack a good library and in some schools the post of the librarian is empty.
The secretary of Madurai district of a headmaster’s association, S Baskaran says that it is really important to maintain a good library in all schools both high schools and higher secondary schools. Although some schools have a good library place but lack of good up to date books do not make the library as useful as it must be. Some schools also don not have a librarian so even after having a stock of good books, the library cannot get access by the students.
It truly important problem and the government should take it seriously to fulfill the demands of good library system. Schools which do not have an eligible librarian, hire a normal teacher teaching other subjects to handle the pressure of the library. Most of the times, the teacher refuses to take the responsibility of the librarian so the post remains blank for years. The students are getting totally distracted from the essence of a library.
N Kumaran who is the president of parent teachers association, Thiruparankundram, agrees with the fact that the habit of reading books and visiting a library to get up to date with study materials must be started from a very early age. Lack of good library facility in both government and private schools has increased the distraction of the students from library in the schools of Madurai.
In return, R Mathialaguraj who is the chief education officer of Madurai Corporation says that initiatives have been taken by the corporation to fill up the vacant posts of the librarian in most schools of Madurai.