KARACHI: Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani has said that the provincial government and Karachi administration have decided to restore neglected libraries. He said this while talking to media during his visit to Ghalib Library on Monday.
The Karachi Commissioner said that the relevant public sector departments and managements of private libraries were directed to pay attention to improve the libraries so as to attract more people to the facilities. He said that a council of libraries has been established and expressed the hope that it would help preserve the facilities and bring them up to par with the modern era. He said that the council of libraries would organise training programmes for librarians. Details of the training programmes will be discussed in the next meeting.
Earlier, while talking to members of the Ghalib Trust, the commissioner said that the government will extend assistance for the celebrations of Ghalib Centennial to be organised in March by Idara Yadgar-i-Ghalib, which will help to preserve the work of the legendary poet, Mirza Ghalib, as well as create more opportunities to benefit those associated with libraries.
President of Idara Yadgar-i-Ghalib Shadab Ehsani, librarian Nazia Mukhtar and other notables were also present on the occasion. The commissioner said that Ghalib Library was a great asset of poetry work and personality of Ghalib. Preservation of Ghalib Library is tantamount to service to the nation and literature, he added.
Ehsani said that the visit of the Karachi commissioner to the Ghalib Library will encourage the Idara Yadgar-i-Ghalib in its efforts to preserve the Ghalib Library. Shallwani directed the Central deputy commissioner to keep in contact with the Ghalib Trust and provide them every possible assistance. The commissioner was informed that around 80,000 books were part of the collection of Ghalib Library and it is among the three most important libraries of the country with regard to collections of books on literature, poetry as well as journals and other important literary documents. It was also informed that the Ghalib Library was founded as an institution for literary activities and research on eminent literary personalities, particularly, Ghalib.
Ghalib Library features a collection of letters written by literary greats the likes of Marxist intellectual Sibte Hasan, scholar on Ghalib Ralph Russell, playwright Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj, poet Josh Maleehabadi, scholar and congress leader Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and many more. The founding Secretary Mirza Zafarul Hasan and founding President Faiz Ahmed Faiz had launched the Idara Yadgar-i-Ghalib in 1969 at Karachi, on the occasion of celebrations of Ghalib's centennial. Later, these two greats, with the help of some other lovers of Ghalib, planned and had the Ghalib Library built and opened on September 1, 1971.
Later, Karachi commissioner visited Taimooria Library and directed the officials to take steps to look after the libraries. He said that all necessary facilities required for a public library were available in the building of Taimooria Library. A trained and experienced librarian was required to make Taimooria Library a central library of the district, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2019.
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