islamabad - Shabby roof, broken ceramic tiles and tattered walls; this isn’t a war-hit building in any remote area, but the condition of a community library in the federal capital.

The civic authorities, around a decade ago, conceived an idea to establish community libraries in different sectors to encourage the citizens for readership.

However, with the passage of time, the limited strength of readers and officials of libraries were compelled to restrict themselves in the small rooms of the building.

The community libraries are working under the Department of Libraries, Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) and the place was provided by Capital Development Authority (CDA).

The Nation visited two such community libraries situated in the sector G-11 and F-11. From outside, attractive hut design libraries with maintained front lawns give the impression of a rest house.

But, passing the tinted glass door, when a reader steps into the building, he meets the ragged situation of these facilities.

The red and off-white paint on fabricated sheds and walls on exterior is totally different from the inside.

The libraries were constructed in the design with two major reader halls with attached bathrooms, officer in-charge room and a reception at main entrance.

However, in both libraries, only single readers’ hall is being utilised and the other one is locked due to its appalling condition.

Around 15-feet rectangular fabricated material roof of the second reader hall of community library of G-11 is completely propelled and set aside in the backyard of the facility. Only the frame has been left which gives easy access to rain and sunshine in the room.

“It looks as if a mortar shell has hit the roof and damaged the building,” said Abdul Qudus, an official on duty.

A storm last year had brought this disaster to the library, and since then no restoration work has been done to this building.

The harsh weather has also contributed in damaging the floor and furniture of the room.

Along with one wall, blue-coloured library board carrying address of the library was placed in tilted position. The chairs were set on the table to save them from further damage.

Rain has turned the white-coloured floor tiles into black, and the washrooms without water have been turned into store rooms.

Moving ahead to another empty room, the on-duty official informed The Nation that this worn out room was in-charge’s office, but its condition was depicting as if it was an abandoned place.

“This room also started damaging due to weather conditions and because of downpour, the in-charge office was shifted to reception desk,” said Qudus.

The only maintained readers’ hall was silent as the grave, because only single reader was busy reading a book.

The books were placed well in the catalogue as no one has touched them for months.

“The facility was good and especially for those who cannot afford purchasing books, but present condition is indicating that the set up will disappear soon,” said Anees Ali, the only reader in the library.

Abdul Qudus, showing the readers register to The Nation said that around 12 readers daily visit this library for their academic purposes.

He said around 3000 books are placed in this library.

Similarly, the community library at F-11 was also found in almost similar condition, where only one reader hall was in useful condition and the other was locked.

The roof of the locked room was also dilapidated and the condition of the floor, walls and furniture was reflecting the poor maintenance conditions.

“A storm in previous December blown off the roof from the walls which led to this condition of the hall,” said Murad Khan, in-charge of the library.

However, he also told another interesting fact about the fixing of roof.

In December last year, the storm ripped the roof off from one side and the hall was under open sky, but this year storm from the opposite direction placed the folded shelter again on the walls, he said.

“The nature took the responsibility itself of covering the roof again, but authorities paid no heed,” said Murad. He said that around 15 readers daily visit the library which has around 4000 books.