Bhopal: The Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) amidst much fanfare started e-library facility at Dr Ambedkar Library on Monday.

Inaugurating the e-library facility, Mayor Alok Sharma urged the students of the city to avail the service to the fullest to perform well in the examinations and make the city proud. However, while speaking to readers, they had a mixed reaction about the new facility with many advocating the traditional reading practice with a book in hand.

The newly launched e-library comprises eight computer systems and about 6,500 e-books on various subjects ranging from engineering, medical studies, art & culture, banking, NCERT, civil services examinations and others. The maximum books in the e-library are of competitive examinations. The library has a total membership of about 100 members with similar number of footfalls on six days a week.

One of the regular visitor, 23-year-old Ajit Singh from Gandhi Nagar locality says that the e-library facility would help them preparing competitive examinations.

“I am preparing for Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission (MPPSC) examination. As the examination and other competitive examinations are now online, I think this new facility would help the aspirants in that manner,” said Singh, who is coming to the library for the last two years, told Free Press Journal (FPJ).

Advocating the facility, he also cited the advantage of saving time by using e-library.

“In the traditional library one has to spend significant time while searching a particular book but in e-library one has to search in the database and the required book would come up within seconds,” added Singh.

However not many were in favour of shifting to e-library in the library as they think it is of no match to the traditional reading habits.

“The e-library would never be able to give the feel of a traditional reading habit in a library by holding a book in hand and smelling the smell of pages inside it. Apart from this to read an e-book in the library one has to keep staring at the computer screens which are harmful to the eyes,” said another avid visitor to the library, Amit Pathale while speaking to FPJ.

“However it is the need of the hour that we change our reading and library habits with the advancement in technology,” added Pathale.

Speaking on the issue, a staff member of the Dr Ambedkar library comprising the e-lirary facility, on condition of anonymity said that the library management is hopeful that it would attract many readers.

“The facility had been prepared by since last 4-5 months but it was not being offered to the readers because it was not inaugurated. Before Tuesday we were having constant queries from the readers that when would it be started. They have shown commendable enthusiasm to use the facility. At present it is available only to the members of the library who stands at a figure of around 100. There is no time limit to study the e-books in the library as they are read them for any time they want,” said the staffer.