The smell of books for the book lovers is enough to keep them happy and enthusiastic. It is just about reading what so ever they can lay their hands upon. Kolkata is a hub of books and has College Street market, the largest book market in the whole of Asia. Apart from its cultural heritage. The people out here have found a new destination for books in the city.
There is a curious sight to see on the roads of Kolkata which is very happening for the book lovers indeed. The northern Park area is seen crowded while a familiar fragrance of books can be smelled in the air around. There are college students and more who crowd around glancing at the books displayed on the the shelves on footpath. It is truly commendable to set up a library of its own kind on the footpath for anybody and everybody. There are many books exhibited on the book shelves placed on the footpath. It gives the look of a book store on the pavement but is actually a unique concept of a library that houses books from a number of authors. It has been named as ‘The street library’.
The books displayed range from the Bengali novels, comics, Sidney Sheldon, novels by other authors and more. The readers are encouraged to read books of their choices without any membership fee and without any time limit to return. Self help books for competitive exams, children novels are a great help to the students.
Although the library looks very simple with books displayed on the racks yet the concept is beautiful. It is much like any library where the readers can borrow books of their own choice, but they can do it free of cost. People can take books home and return as per their convenience. The books can get stolen or maybe people who take them for reading do not return as well, but this is no worry for the library as it is open to all for donations. People happily donate books that they have at home and have been read several times. There are books at home gathering dust on the piles and can find their way upto these shelves.
Books are not the only way by which people are contributing to the unique library. Teachers from the nearby school often visit the library for arranging the scattered books.
The read and return free library is a concept beyond just providing books to people for free. It is a boon for the city to provide literary seeds for free to the people who want to read but fall short of the material. Be it magazine, comics or novels even if one flips pages of the books will definitely learn a bit. Reading heading or even going through the pictures is a way of having some access to information. The street libraries are a paradise for the book lovers and are the best place for books donation as it will benefit those who are willing to read, explore and study.
There are a few street libraries around the city now and are working with constant supply of old and second hand books from the donors and the users of the library itself. There is no supervision required as the library has no membership fees. Thus there is no salary involved and no other recurring expenditure. It is simply a place for exchange of ideas via books.
Ilead is India’s one of the top rated media college and hosts one of the most sought libraries in the city of joy.it has its own Street Libraries across Kolkata and has started its very own library and are located in areas like Salt Lake, iLead, Park Circus, Tiljala shed, PS Srijan Park, Newtown, Bhawanipore and a few more to mention.