Bookworms are being deprived of reading due to closure of Kulaura Public Library beside Independence Monument in the municipality for the last two years.
There is none to save the rare books in the library lying in an abandoned state since 2016, thanks to the authorities' negligence.
Mohammad Sirajul Islam, the then Kulaura upazila nirbahi officer (UNO), inaugurated the public library having a reading room and an office room on June 26 in1984. After inauguration, it became very popular among the book lovers. Kulaura's Sonali Bank branch has an account in the name of the public library.
Former UNO Mohammad Nazmul Hasan and ex-upazila primary education officer Shariful Islam were the president and the general secretary of the Library Management Committee. Shariful ran the library successfully for one year since 2012. After his transfer, activities of the library almost came to a halt, said incumbent UNO Mohammad Ashekul Haque.
Local writer M Mosabbir Ali, 50, fifth member of the library, said he used to read rare books of noted authors by paying Tk 30 every year. Those books are difficult to find elsewhere. But at present, he cannot read books due to closure of the library. There are around 4,000 books but many of them got damaged due to lack of maintenance.
During a recent visit, this correspondent found some furniture traders selling tables, chairs, etc at the library's veranda.
The concrete floor of the library has turned muddy due to lack of maintenance. Every corner of the room is covered with spider webs. Newspapers in the library are scattered randomly in the inner table. There are layers of dust on 30 chairs in the reading room.
Kulaura's young writer Md Jahirul Islam said a library can play a vital role to increase readers. There is no alternative to reading books for acquiring knowledge. To gain knowledge, the best way is the public library but it has now turned into a garbage centre.
Former librarian Khurshid Ullah said “I along with ex-assistant librarian Shamsuddin ran the library for six years since 2010. In the meantime, we got Tk 1,200 each as honorarium for three years since 2010. We did not get any honorarium after 2013. Retired headmaster Md Alauddin Ahmad of Rabeya Adarsh Government Primary School worked as a librarian for some time in 2015 when Shamsuddin fell sick. Shamsuddin died last year.”
UNO Mohammad Ashekul Haque said "I will visit the public library soon. Collective initiatives will be taken from the upazila parishad and upazila administration to make the public library better.”