posted on 04/09/2022 06:00
(credit: Carlos Vieira/CB)
In times of one-click information, on cell phones and tablets, public libraries maintain the purpose of democratizing knowledge. In addition to the physical collection, many offer spaces for internet access and a toy library and function as a meeting point for students and book lovers. Spaces that were closed for almost two years, due to the covid-19 pandemic, but now return to regular operation and await the return of thousands of copies that were borrowed before the health crisis and need to return to find new readers.
Therefore, libraries in the Federal District have promoted, locally, actions to encourage the return of books. The Ceilândia Carlos Drummond de Andrade Public Library (BPC), which has more than 54 thousand titles, has more than a thousand items without return. According to the coordinator of the BPC, Pollyanna Souza, little by little, the community is becoming aware that the activities are regulated and encouraged to bring in the loans. “As all the books here are donations, so we’re waiting for them to be returned or someone else donating to replace them,” she says.
She points out that a publication stored in the home of the defaulting user no longer serves another person. “The more classic ones, which are books that are in greater demand because they are charged at Enem, at PAS, for example, are widely used in high school reading and, unfortunately, we often inform you that we cannot attend because the item was lost, there was no return”, he laments.
The Library was closed between March 2020 and September 2021. Even so, there was an effort not to let the community down. Online activities were promoted and virtual materials were made available for consultation, even though it is not exactly a virtual collection.
As the increase in cases of delay is directly related to the pandemic, the coordinator says that there is no fine or charge for those who restore the copies. “We want to encourage them to return, in addition to allowing these readers to make new loans, since the most important thing is that people know that BPC is open”, she highlights.
Student Natália Santana, 19, is a regular user and even though she is not in debt to the establishment, she hopes that the collection will be restored as soon as possible. “I don’t usually rent books here, but my friends always take them and it’s very quiet, it seems to have everything, even after the pandemic. We have to value these places more, it’s a very peaceful place for both those who want to study and for those who want read”, he defends.
In the Plano Piloto, the National Library of Brasília (BNB) reopened in September last year, but it has not yet restored all the items temporarily transferred, as reported by Marcela Araújo, 40, deputy manager of the BNB. She reports that when they noticed the evasion of the collection, in February 2021, a drive-thru return service was promoted. The strategy worked, and resulted in the return of 803 copies.
Currently, 377 books have not been returned since the start of the pandemic. Despite this, BNB does not apply fines. Before the health crisis, laggards were punished with the suspension of new loans, but the penalty is not being applied at the moment.
For those who are always up to date with returns, initiatives are important. Student André Vieira Ferreira, 22, usually goes to public libraries to study and is adept at loans. “Fortunately, I never ran out of picking up an item because it wasn’t available because it was lost. In this pandemic period, we have to have understanding too, people had to worry about other things. The most important thing is that those who are in debt don’t do it with intentions bad”, he shoots.
Sheila Gualberto, 43, manager of the Brasília Public Library, in Asa Sul, agrees with the student and says that the space did not have major losses in stock. “A lot of people died, unfortunately, but even in these cases, relatives came to return it when they saw the stamp. We had a lot of help from the community, especially when the Library opened after renovation, so everyone came to enjoy and pay the debts”, he explains.
*Intern under the supervision of Juliana Oliveira
National Library Day
In the 17th century, the French bishop and theologian Jacques Bossuet famously stated: “In Egypt, libraries were called ‘treasure of the soul’s remedies’. In fact, it is in them that ignorance, the most dangerous of diseases and the origin of all others, is cured.” Centuries later, these important public facilities remain as historical and cultural references. In reference to the National Book and Library Week and the Librarian’s Day, instituted by decree nº 84.631, April 9 marks the National Library Day. The date seeks to encourage reading and recognize the importance of these spaces. In the Federal District, there are 25 libraries, some under the management of the Secretary of Culture and the majority managed by the respective administrative regions where they are located.