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Public libraries in a state of despair, deserted by avid readers

In a time when fostering a culture of reading is paramount for societal development, the unfortunate neglect of some public libraries has left them in a state of disrepair, deserted by avid readers who once frequented their halls.

The Al-Qabas daily have echoed demands to put an end to this neglect, which has seen public libraries deteriorate despite significant investments made in their establishment.

Professor Latifa Hussein Al-Kandari of the College of Basic Education emphasized the pivotal role that public libraries play in the advancement of societies, serving as bastions of culture and knowledge accessible to all.

She lamented the frustration and disappointment felt when encountering libraries shuttered for maintenance, their reopening dates uncertain.

Al-Kandari stressed that regardless of the challenges, public libraries must remain open in every residential area, with immediate alternatives provided to ensure continued access to cultural enrichment.

Attributing the closure or reduced activities of some public libraries to financial constraints, mismanagement, or lack of coordination, Al-Kandari highlighted the detrimental impact on communities deprived of valuable cultural activities. She questioned the accountability for this neglect, urging governmental and civic bodies to step up their oversight of faltering libraries and address the root causes hindering their operation.

Al-Kandari emphasized that public libraries serve as vital hubs for intellectual growth, aiding educators, parents, and students alike in fulfilling their roles effectively. She underscored the integral role of public libraries in complementing educational institutions and fostering a culture of lifelong learning.

Calling for neutral cultural bodies to monitor the status of public libraries transparently, Al-Kandari stressed the need to support successful initiatives while addressing shortcomings hindering cultural advancement.

Public libraries, she noted, are not mere repositories of knowledge but vibrant centers of activity and dialogue, hosting a myriad of events ranging from book presentations to cultural festivals. Their neglect not only deprives communities of intellectual treasures but also poses safety risks, potentially becoming venues for illicit activities.

Citizen Hammoud Al-Shaiji echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the neglect of public libraries and harnessing their potential to serve as pillars of culture and societal enrichment.

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