Tucked away in the middle of Basaveshwara Nagar, one of Bangalore’s suburbs, is a park with a temple at its center. While this isn’t a novelty by any means, this park is now host to many social activities apart from the obviously religious ones that the temple draws.
The various activities include discourses on yoga, healthier lifestyles, civics, and more. The organizers of these activities have also been spearheading various community driven initiatives. One such initiative is a library that runs solely on trust! The Balamuri Vigneswara & Balanjenaya Temple Seva Samithi, as the committee of organizers is named, has started a library where:
- The books are contributed by people living in the neighbourhood. Books that you have read and no longer need, books you believe should be read by others – you can contribute them to this library. You can just walk into the temple, and leave the book in the single long shelf that is present at the entrance.
- Anyone, yes anyone, can borrow any book. The only requirement is for you to fill your name and contact number in the register that lies alongside the book shelf. That’s it. No deposits, no late fees. This library trusts you to return the book within the stipulated time (in this case it being a week).
Go through the records and you see that almost all books are returned by the borrowers – and in most cases within the time period of one week! The books have been contributed by the residents and hence the catalog is truly diverse. While most of the books are in English and Kannada, you also have literature from languages including Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam, Telugu, Marathi! The other good thing about this library is that the book repository is constantly changing with neighbours routinely contributing new sets of books.
More such community driven initiatives and we can easily have a flood of books at our disposal at virtually no cost. The only thing you will ever need to access that information will be trust. Ideal world? This library in Bangalore seems to indicate otherwise.