Reading is one of the prime hobbies. It allows you to grasp knowledge in a quick time, understand the meaning of life and different complexities. It makes you understand the depth of emotions and the history of our grand ancestors. Readings not take you to different eras but increase your vocabulary. But with the digital media gaining attention, the art of reading has lost somewhere.
People now prefer to watch movies, play games, and surf the internet. In every era, the need for book reading is essential, and to foster the same affection, the city of lights in Pakistan, Karachi, took a bold step. A street library builds across the Commissioner’s office is grabbing everyone’s attention. What is unique in it? Why is the need for this library in Karachi? Read what the Commissioner of Karachi himself has to say about it in the exclusive article below.
The new street library in Karachi with beautiful artwork on its sides.
Karachi is known for its culture, heritage, and colors. With the concept of street libraries, Karachi is offering rich literature for its residents as well. However, the new street library Built by Karachi commissioner’s office on the wall of Metropole building has grabbed everyone’s attention.
The portraits of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, his sister Fatima Jinnah, celebrated poet Allama Iqbal, and the first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan decorated on either side of the wooden bookshelves have foster reading among the citizens.
What are the remarks of Commissioner on this act?
Iftikhar Shalwani is the Commissioner Karachi, who took the initiative of street libraries in Karachi. In an exclusive interview to Arab News, he said,
The idea behind this first street library of Pakistan is to promote the habit of book reading, which is essential for any society, the bookshelves have yet to be filled and that the symbolic library will operate on the take a book and leave a book basis. We are also working on upgrading public libraries in different districts of the city. One of those will be named as the city’s central library.
How the poets and writers do take this initiative?
The Writers and bibliophiles appreciate the initiative of street libraries. According to Sahar Ansari who is a renowned poet and member of Commissioner’s library committee,
Any efforts for reviving the culture of book reading should be appreciated, Although promoting book reading in this era of the Internet is a difficult task, sincere and well-thought efforts never fail.
The old traditions and the culture of book reading
Sahar Ansari recalled the glorious era of his time when the culture of aik ana holds in the libraries which allow affordable passage by borrowing a book for one penny or aik ana. He further told the media that,
Among those who keep the culture of letters alive, are sellers at Regal Chowk, Frere Hall, and next to Baitul Mukarram Mosque, who every Sunday offers old books.
What is the opinion of Ansari on personal libraries and new attractions?
While discussing the number of libraries and the lack of attraction Ansari said,
The city had many public and private libraries where thousands would throng to read books on history, literature, science, and other subjects of their interest, personal libraries used to be considered a status symbol. However, although the website of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation lists 41 libraries in the city, only a few remain fully functional. The libraries of different (foreign) consulates in Karachi would attract a good number of readers.
What is the viewpoint of Ghazi Salahuddin on this initiative?
Ghazi Salahuddin, the most excellent Journalist and writer who used to host a book show on a Pakistani news channel appreciated the street library initiative and offered a caveat. He said,
“Quality and newer titles should be added to the library to make it more attractive to the readers,”
Is the street library functional for people to pay a visit?
The official inauguration of the street library in Karachi was done on 25th December 2019 on Jinnah’s birthday. Now the library is fully functional and accessible for the common man to pay a visit and read.
Are you a book reader? Is book-reading your hobby? Then what are you doing here? Go to the famous library attracting visitors around the country and give your buds a taste of reading. Share with your friends living in Karachi and ask them to visit this street library and comment their experience on this beautiful library.