More than 500 public colleges and schools’ libraries are either not functioning or being managed by unqualified staff, The Express Tribune has learnt.
The Punjab government has not recruited any librarians since 1997.
An Education Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that out of the 445 public colleges in the province 200 have libraries run by non-qualified staff. Out of more than 400 government higher secondary schools across the province, 336 do not have librarians appointed.
Ahmed Ali, a Grade 9 student at a government school in Shahdara said that the library at his school had been closed for the last two years. “There is no staff to run it,” he said.Muhammad Shahid Soroya, the Pakistan Librarians Welfare Organisation president said that each year more than 200 students graduate with a masters degree in library and information science across the Punjab. “These professional degree holders are compelled to seek odd jobs because no librarians have been recruited since 1997,” he said.
A senior official of Education Department said the issue had been discussed and the government would soon make arrangements for the recruitment of eligible qualified librarians to run libraries in public sector.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2012.