Over 1,800 people registered as members of the renowned AMC-run MJ library, after it became a smart library on June 1, 2021. After it went online, the annual membership of MJ rose from 142 in the financial year 2020-21 to 516 for the year 2021-22. The number of reading members rose from 192 in 2020-21 to 279 the next year and 308 for the year 2022 (April to December).
Lifetime membership was 260 in 2020-21 but dropped to 185 the next year and was 179 in 2022 (April to December). Overall members rose from 594 in 2020-21 to 980 in 2021-22 to 829 in the year 2022 (April to December).
The 1800 members who registered also include those who registered as part of other smart libraries associated with MJ. These libraries are located in Himmatlal Park, Maninagar, Vijaynagar and Vasna.
Those in the know said with smart libraries people don’t have to physically submit forms, or other ID proofs and get a signature among others. Earlier a major constraint was the mandatory requirement to get a signature and stamp of a current councillor, MLA or Class-1 officer while filling out the membership form. This has been done away with.
The four libraries associated with MJ together have eight lakh books and some can also be read online. The library also has a stock verification machine that sounds an alarm if anyone tries to take a book which has not been issued reducing the chances of book theft.