The Attrition of Library And Proliferation of Pubs In The Coastal Communities

The Attrition of Library And Proliferation of Pubs In The Coastal Communities

I would not pass by our hood without bleeding. It is the same spirit. The same energy. The continuous hustling throughout the streets. Nothing seems changing. 

Looking back, while we, as senior high students, were preparing for our final exams, what hassled us was the availability of library; a conducive place we could study and read more. 

At the moment, the Presbyterian Church of La, was meeting our demands to some extent. Their library had been there for ages. It’s but just small in size and could hardly accommodate 10 people. On top of it, they close around 7:30-8:00 P.M., so we had to shuttle between there and La Presec. 

Learning at the latter (my alma mater) was a bit challenging because other students from other schools do come there to study. (And you know students tend to focus on the vital few and trivial many when they meet in their numbers.

The attrition of library and reading haven’t been taken seriously in our communities. When aspiring Members of Parliament are campaigning they leave out library, and avenues to make reading appealing to the teeming youth. Over a decade and more, the entire township still had no newly built library.

In 2015 thereabout, a native who had been away for some time thought it wise to erect a free library, fully installed with books and computers (with internet connectivity, for research purposes). To say patronage was low is understatement. Those youths who visited the library, did so only to use the facility for their parochial needs — fraud. I learn the library is now collapsed.

Despite these reflections, the town keeps witnessing the proliferation of betting centers, not sports betting alone but game of chance, purposely for children between the ages of 10-15, to stake with coins and win a ransom.

Again, with the youth (mostly from 16-30 years), the new menace is the proliferation of recreational centers. Everywhere you go there’s a pub; and these pubs, throughout the week they host event where.

Boys-boys and Girls-girls meet, they drink liquor and smoke shisha. The pub managers (who are youths) boast of their customers’ intoxicating or smoking prowess more than other pub members, as if that’s all what life has to offer.

This isn’t to suggest that social life is tripe. We need a place to relax — to think about tomorrow. Once awhile we need to swim, trot at the beach, or take a trip away from home. But should we put our livers at risk while making merry!

The worst of all the problems is the tomorrow of our children. Our doings in the community have programmed them that reading is akin to time wasting. Gambling is a lucrative exploit of theirs. 

Reading has become luxury our future children can’t afford. Their minds are being towed towards menacing as they always capture smokes of shisha whirling in the air, women wriggling their waists and writhing on the floor like snakes, and men dancing with sagged trousers while breaking bottles of hard liquor. Hence, they’d rather enter into a lion’s den than visit the library. 

Our children are growing and might not learn how to create or add value to their lives. Meanwhile, their co-equals at other places, East Legon, Cantoment, Nyaniba Estate, South-La, and Tse-Addo are building themselves. They’re always exposed to library books, coding, etc. 

But here we are in the township, glorifying political mediocrity with our last breath. And we aren’t encouraging the children to be sensible at an early stage. It makes my heart bleeds. So sad. And too painful. 

That crooked path some of have us betook and wouldn’t envision it for the young ones. A generation which doesn’t read would bleed of misdeeds and be misled. The continuous bleakness should break. It’s doable.

By Abdul Rahman Odoi


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