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Fine drive against defaulter readers

The National Library authorities are planning to initiate action against readers who have borrowed rare and valuable books from the lending section and not returned those for years.

The library’s officer on special duty Ramanuj Bhattacharjee said on Sunday he could cite five specific cases of defaulting readers.

“I have instructed my officials to charge five times the original price of the books from the readers concerned. We are planning to initiate legal measures against such people,” he added. The library board of management meets on Monday to take a decision on it.

A senior library official said on Sunday that a list of defaulter readers is being drawn up and they will be asked to return the books immediately. At least 30 such defaulters have been traced. Many readers have not returned books they have taken to make photocopies of, since the process is time-consuming.

Last year, some members of the National Library employees’ union had complained to the library authorities that many readers were returning photocopies of borrowed books, in connivance with some unscrupulous library officials. So, it was turning into a “photocopy library”, the union members had said, and demanded a probe into their allegation. The library authorities, however, chose to ignore the allegation.

The library board of management will meet Central Public Works Department officials to find out when they will obtain possession of Bhasha Bhavan, that will accommodate about 25 lakh books and documents.

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