Libraries are the sacred temples where human spirits are satiated and faculties groomed. Such is the importance of libraries as symbols of culture that since the pre-historic times, the barbarians always brunt the libraries of cities they sacked. Libraries used to be an integral part of the cultural landscape of Sindh but have now gotten extinct with time. Some decaying libraries still exist in major cities and some suburban parts of the province but backward areas like my home tehsil of Johi are not fortunate enough to have one. Realizing this dire need, a few conscientious intellectuals like Dr Hameed Soomro, Sain Bux Rind, late Akbar Jiskani, Dr. Juman Bahhotto, late Muhammad Bux Panhwer and some other sons of Johi founded the first well-equipped library on self financed basis in 1999. Local doctors of the community and individuals from civil society organisations also generously contributed in cash and kind to run the library. From 2003 onwards, a local NGO called JORDAN ran the library before it was handed back to its original management committee in 2006. From the very first day of the librarys working, the management committee made hectic efforts to seek space for a building but the government functionaries paid no heed. With the passage of time, private donors that were footing the expense of its running got exhausted. Ten years is hell of a long time for private donors to keep contributing for a cause. Recently, the owner of the building that currently houses the library locked it for four consecutive days after the management did not approve his unrealistic demands for a raise in rent. Fortunately, DCO Dadu Saleem Raza took notice of the mater and provided a suitable building with wide space for library. Minister of State Rafique Ahmed Jamali also visited the library and donated two air-conditioners and a water cooler. So books are open, for now at least, at the library in Johi. -GULSHER PANHWER, Johi, Dadu, September 26.