Libraries in Dire Straits


Ipoh is one of the many cities in the country which is blessed with two libraries. You have the Tun Razak Library managed by City Council (MBI) and the Perpustakaan Awam Negeri Perak, which is managed by the state government. Regardless of their affiliations both are being funded by the rakyat’s money. In spite of attempts at improving services, ill-placed at best, quality has nose-dived. I say this with much conviction, as seeing is believing. Staff attitude is to be blamed.

The emphasis at the MBI library is on reading, thus the vast open space available. At the state library the emphasis is on information technology. However, there is little to suggest that this is so as very few computers are accessible to the public. Those wishing to access the Internet have to pay a fee for power supply. Unfortunately, only a few dedicated power points are available for use. The computer room is on the first floor but the computers are no-go as they are meant for workshops only. They remain idle in the room.

One common problem found in both libraries is the quality and quantity of books available. Most are outdated and in poor shape. There is a dearth of new books and publications.

Arrangement of books in the state library is poor as similar-subject books are found in different aisles and shelves. This is indicative of poor handling and supervision. The other problem is space at the children section of the state library. It has been taken up by staff.

I hope those in authority will take heed of these inconsistencies and make amends where possible. The sanctity of the libraries should be protected and not exposed.


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