Bhubaneswar: At a time internet is dominating many aspects of life and reading habit is almost on decline among youngsters, Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) on Sunday opened a public library inside the Biju Patnaik Park, popularly known as Forest Park, to encourage netizens for reading books.
A first-of-its-kind initiative in Odisha, the Forest Park Library was inaugurated by R. Balakrishnan (Retired IAS), Chief Advisor to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, in presence of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary, who is the vice-chairman of BDA, on the occasion of World Poetry Day.
Speaking on the occasion, Balakrishnan said, “It is a great step by the BDA to step up and promote park library culture at a time when reading habit is declining among youngsters. This library will definitely attract children, students, book lovers and people visiting the park spend some time in reading amid a cool and peaceful environment. In the age of Internet and social media, there is a decline in reading habit. Therefore, initiatives like park library will surely help in encouraging and promoting reading habits among all.”
The Forest Park Library, city’s first library inside a park, is a collaboration between BDA and city-based BAKUL Foundation. The BDA has provided the space and the physical infrastructure required for setting up the library. BAKUL Foundation has developed the space into a creative library space with racks and books and attractive murals. The organisation will be managing the library as well.
“The main purpose behind setting up a park library is to giving an opportunity to book lovers, and especially underprivileged children in reading different kinds of book, which are quite expensive to buy from market. We will ensure that the library gets a good collection Odia books in different genres,” Chaudhary said.
He further informed that the BDA is planning to set up more such libraries in other big size parks in the city to promote park library culture.
Since the library is located inside the park, it opens and closes according to the park’s timings. It is open from 7.00 am to 10.00 am and from 4.00 pm to 7.00 pm. The library is open throughout week except Monday, he said.
The book section includes a collection of Odia and English books and has shelves with books for children too, with chairs and tables meant for them. Besides, the library also has English bestsellers and classics, and a host of textbooks for students.
Though this library caters to people of all ages it gives more focus to children and students. Children’s all-time favourite series like Wimpy Kids, Geronimo Stilton books, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Enid Baytown books, the Harry Potter series in Fantasy etc.