Mira-Bhayadar: The e-libraries started by the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) in 2016 had to be closed down owing to a poor response from citizens. In an attempt to rekindle the habit of reading and introduce the new concept in a digital format, where innumerable books could be easily accessed at the click of the mouse, the civic administration had introduced e-versions at the existing libraries at Nagar Bhawan in Bhayandar (west) and Ram Nagar in Mira Road. Former mayor- Geeta Jain (now MLA) had inaugurated the libraries on Republic Day in 2016. Two more e-libraries were planned on an amenity space in Silver Sarita (Kashigaon) and Kanakia (Mira Road).
Winded up for want of membership
Armed with hi-speed wi-fi connectivity, a total of 64 e-learning computers offering a wide range of e-books and online reading content for students studying in class XII and above standards were made available at the digital libraries. The MBMC had spent ₹80 lakh for the project. The facility could be used by paying ₹200 as monthly fees and ₹1,000 towards refundable deposit. However, civic officials claimed that there were hardly any visitors who approached for membership and after a long wait the libraries were finally winded up last year.
The administration had also trained its focus on protecting users from obscene and harmful online content by installing software with advanced filtering techniques. “Our idea was to solve the problem of students who are keen on higher studies but cannot afford to buy books or do not have access to the Internet. The e-libraries were an ideal solution, but unfortunately the response was extremely poor and we fail to understand the reason,” said an official requesting anonymity. As of now the MBMC operates four public libraries and five student study rooms in the twin-city.
Civic Chief on surprise visit to study room.
To review the facilities being offered to students, MBMC chief Dilip Dhole paid a surprise visit to the library and study hall situated in the community hall building in Bhayandar (west) on Thursday. After interacting with students and understanding their requirements, Dhole issued necessary instructions to the librarian for procuring all state level study material which were needed to prepare for medical, engineering, Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) and other entrance examinations. Apart from giving directions to keep proper cleanliness, Dhole asked the on-duty personnel to ensure the air-conditioner remains operational for the comfort of students.