Kollam district panchayat initiative to set up libraries for patients, caregivers
Hospital libraries with their wide range of biomedical literature usually cater to health-care professionals. But now, inpatients and caregivers at Government Victoria Hospital, Kollam, will have access to a spectrum of recreational reading material following an initiative of the Kollam district panchayat.
Perhaps the first of its kind initiative started by a local body, the project will be extended to more government hospitals in the future.
“In the initial phase, we will be setting up libraries in Victoria Hospital, District Hospital, District Ayurveda Hospital and Homoeo Hospital. Inpatients and their caregivers can grab books from the library during their stay and return them before or on the day of discharge. We are also planning to arrange ‘Pushthakakoodu’ for other visitors, including outpatients. Apart from providing an extra facility, we want to promote a reading culture among the visitors,” says K. Prasad, district panchayat secretary.
While the library at Victoria Hospital will be inaugurated by writer K.R. Meera on Friday, the next one will be opened at District Hospital within a couple of weeks.
“After identifying a suitable space for the library, the district panchayat will provide the infrastructure and the books required. The project cost for each unit is ₹2.5 lakh,” he adds. The library at Victoria Hospital has books worth ₹1.5 lakh along with periodicals and dailies.
An employee of the hospital will be in charge of the library and notices about the facility will be displayed at all rooms. While patients can contact the staff for the service, caregivers can visit the library and select books.
Books of all major publishers will be available in the library and the current stock includes many recently released titles and nearly 15 periodicals. “Some staff members have offered to sponsor dailies and periodicals while books from all streams will be made available. You will find many titles of renowned authors such as O.V. Vijayan and Madhavikutty, while the latest books such as K.R.Meera’s Ghatakan are also part of the collection,” says P.K. Gopal, health-education standing committee chairman, who is also the executive member of the State Library Council. Since the hospital has COVID-19 patients, all protocols will be followed while issuing books.
“The library will be functioning as a normal facility during the post-pandemic times and right now we are trying to establish the system in all major hospitals,” he adds.
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