MULTAN - Experts agree that introducing children to libraries can reverse the declining habit of reading.

At a time when browsing the net, playing with funky mobile phones and texting non-stop is widespread, reading a book in a peaceful atmosphere is becoming less of an inspiration.

Dr Shahida Husnain, Vice Chancellor of Women University, Multan says library is a place where children can learn to love book reading.

Cause of poor reading habit can be traced to different factors including high prices of books and lack of public libraries. As technology is slowly gain influence in individual lives, reading habit is waning fast.

Vice Chancellor of Bahauddin Zakariya University Dr Khawaja Al-Qama asserts that lifelong love of reading should begin early in school life. He said reading should be made a pleasurable activity for students and they should get opportunities for reading in school as well as at home.

Head of English department of the university, Prof Dr Mubeena Talat said that middle-level learners should take reading as serious part of their lifestyles.  She said the students need exposure to a variety of reading materials, including short story, anthologies, novels, plays, poetry collection and biographies.

“The children who do not read much in early years find reading less enjoyable in later part of their lives,” she said.

According to a research, a school library is the heart and soul of education system. A library should be a place to visit for a kid in kindergarten as well as for a student in high school. President Award recipient, expert on Iqbaliat and author of many books, Professor Dr Aslam Ansari said an academic excellence cannot be achieved without library, a library is like a power house of education and a school without library is like a motor car without an engine.

He said in Pakistan, majority of public and private educational institutions have been functioning without libraries.

Raziud Din Razi, an eminent poet and writer currently chairing a literary organization Sukhanwar Forum said people now have little access to libraries.

Principal Women Degree College Nishat Amanullah described reading habit as the art of drawing meaning from written words.

The chief librarian of Central Library of Zakariya University told that the university library is equipped with about 200,000 books and research papers. He said students still read books but need further encouragement by their elders, adding library books should be available online. In Multan, three libraries at Multan Cantonment area, Bagh Langay Khan and near Qasim Bagh fort need more funds to buy books and improve facilities for readers. Libraries should be kept open for longer hours to facilitate users.

Arrangements finalised:

All arrangements have been finalised for primary and middle standard examinations scheduled to be held from 6th February in Attock.

As many as 335 examination centres have been established where more than 50,000 students will take examination. For middle level examination 155 examination centres have been established which include 28 centres at Attock, 34 centres at Jand, 27 centres at Hazro, 23 centres at Hazro and 23 centres at Pindigheb.

, 28 centres at Fatehjang, 15 centres at Hasanabdal while for primary level examination 180 examination centres have been established which include 32 centres at Attock, 37 at Jand, 31 at Hazro, 30 at Pindigheb, 35 at Fatehjang and 16 exam centres have been established at Hassanabdal.

Roll number slips to regular students have been dispatched to their respective schools while the roll number slips of private candidates have been dispatched at their given addresses. If any private student does receive his roll number slip till 15th January, he/she may contact Registrar Exams Attock in this context.