Four employees for 1.1 lakh books.
While you figure out the mind-boggling ratio between manpower and books at Central Library, Ranchi University, you can also pause to think how the institution manages, considering it has more sections — circulation, reference, referral, I-T, reading room and career counselling — than employees.
There is no one for services such as career counselling, referral service and IT-related work. The hapless quartet restricts its activities to circulation, reference and reading room sections. And if one person is absent, there is obviously no one to do his jobs.
The activities of circulation, reference, reading room and career counselling sections are self-explanatory. The referral section directs students who don’t get the books they want to another library. The I-T section handles e-books and journals that come through on www.inflibnet.ac.in.
“In the reading room, we may need a reference book urgently. But there is no one to attend to us,” rued Sachin Kumar, a second-year anthropology student.
Sachin lives at Postgraduate Hostel near Central Library, and claims to spend nearly 8-9 hours a day studying. “The books at the library are excellent. Hundreds of students like me spend hours browsing through books. But the library’s manpower crunch is really sad,” he added.
Ranchi University pro-vice chancellor V.P. Sharan admitted that there were too few employees at the Central Library. “We are aware of the problem and are taking steps in this regard. We are trying to prepare a list of vacant posts in Central Library. Once posts are identified, appointment process may begin,” Sharan said.
Assistant university librarian S.K. Karn admitted that staff crunch affected services, particularly where career counselling, I-T and reading room were concerned. “But we give circulation of books our utmost attention. If we had at least 12 staffers, we could have served students better,” he added.
He added that contrary to popular perception, today’s scholars read more. “Our library that saw around 100 students a day five years ago gets more than 500 visitors now,” he said.
Students such as Bipin Kumar Mahto, a second-year MCA student, also said the library needed newer technical books. “We have urged department heads to hand a list of books that students want,” said Karn.