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  • Category: Books

    The campus library – a chronicler of remarkable experiences

    Many of us have had the privilege of having a library in our academic life at school, college and university with rows of cupboards packed with subject-wise books, and slanting shelves with magazines and journals. Then there were the tomes of hard-bound Encyclopedias, requiring both hands to heave one off the shelf! A separate reading area had sturdy wooden tables and difficult-to-slouch-in chairs. Some institutes had simple libraries, just a room with a couple of book-cupboards and magazines and newspapers on a side table.


    In the school library, we visited only during the reading period and to borrow a book to take home. This evolved into serious studying in the library at the college and university level, often requiring intense reference work, jotting down notes related to the course-subject.

    Then there was the librarian, often a be-spectacled lady, who not only knew exactly where a particular book could be located without referring to the catalogue but also had the most amazing auditory acumen. How on earth could she hear the faintest of giggles emanating from behind a book at a table a furlong away from her desk?! A stern gesture to the bold letters on the board that practically shouted 'SILENCE PLEASE', and the giggles would be swallowed asap.

    Today the library has expanded not just into a physically larger space, but in other ways, too. There is a 'Library Day' added to the academic calendar where authors are invited to read sections from their book or students review a particular book and get a participation certificate for it. Such sessions are not necessarily even confined to the library premises, but may be organized in the indoor basketball court or outdoors in the school compound, due to their convenient semi-circular seating arrangements. In fact, the library is no longer even called that; it has got the lofty name of Resource Centre because it is now not merely providing information through printed materials but also has multi-media sources, including computers with sophisticated software, film CDs and audiotapes, and even a photo-copying machine. A librarian is no longer a single person with a few staff. There is the post of Head Librarian with one or more Assistant Librarians. What's more, no longer is the female gender more inclined to take up these roles.

    The modern touch is all very well, but it is sincerely hoped that in this digital era the library does not become a white elephant, confined to a neglected corner of the campus. It should continue to be one of those charming, buzzing hubs on campus that creates a long-lasting impression - and not only in terms of academic support - so much so that, when you head back as alumni one day, the chronicle of the library experiences that are etched in the mind get extracted with nostalgic love and affection to reminisce over.

    [This writeup is the launchpad for the Forum thread challenge contest. Image is self-taken of a college library.]
  • #717900
    My school had a library. But there was no sit and read facility. I used to draw books from the library and read at home. Later on, I used to go to the public library where I used to read newspapers, weeklies and monthlies. There used to be only one person in the library. "Silence" is an important aspect of a library. Pin drop silence is expected in a library. People won't make it a fish market.

    Whenever I think of the library, I used to remember film "Bobby" with Rishikapoor and Dimple Kapadia. And the scene where Rishi Kapoor takes a piece of broken mirror and reflects it to Dimple Kapadia, but it falls on the librarian. The librarian remains silent and enjoys their love act.

    No life without Sun

  • #717904
    I have a rich experience with libraries during my education.
    My first library experience started in high school. There was a separate library room and one qualified librarian was sitting in his small attached room to the library. Teachers used to sit and read there. Students were not allowed to read there and we used to go and take a book. We are eligible to have two books with us at a time.
    During my intermediate also in our junior college, we had a library and we used to read some journals there. There we used to get subject books and we were eligible to draw a maximum of three books. The Principal's room was just by the side of the library. The librarian was a lady and she used to be very good with students and used to maintain the library very well.
    I did my under graduation course in a very famous and standard college in the area. The college was having an excellent library and students used to utilise the library. The library was in the science college section and more science students used to come there. Many books were available.
    Then I joined in Andhra University. The Andhra University Library was named as V S Krishna Memorial Library and one of the best libraries in the country those days. The library was housed in a beautiful building and every subject was having its identified place. Good arrangements were made for the students to come and read the books there. Each student was given four library cards and on one card one can take a book. But one of the professor's of Civil Engineering is my relative. So I used to take some books on his cards also.
    During my research days, I used to spend maximum time in the library for literature survey and to know the latest position on the subject on what I was working. With me, another two scholars of my director used to come and we three were spending almost 5 to 6 hours in the library twice or thrice a month. But when I was writing my thesis I spent almost 2 months every day half day in the library.
    This thread made me remember my education days and the time I spent in the library.

    always confident

  • #717909
    In my High School times, we used to have a very good library. We used to have a library period once a week. Librarians used to distribute storybooks in that time and students silently enjoy reading those books. Frequently we used to get books from the library to read at home.

    During Intermediate and even on holiday times I used to visit frequently one of the oldest and famous city libraries in my place. This library has full of valuable and trustworthy books. I never used to know the time when I spend time there reading books. When I go for some work from home in order to visit the library for a while I used to enter the library and by the time I leave, I am able to realize it is too late for me to complete the assigned work at home. Spending in the library at that time is like spending with mobile today.

    I really enjoyed the worth of libraries in my PG education at the University. In my PG education time, classes were used to be canceled for various reasons. At that time I used to go to the library and used to read all sorts of books ranging from general to academic books of high quality from morning till evening. Similarly, in my Research work time, I used to spend a whole lot of time in the library collecting data and information related to my research work. This is the peak period from where I gained a lot of valuable knowledge from libraries.

  • #717913
    When I was doing my graduation then we had a big library in our college and there were so many text books, reference books, and other general books there and some important books were having 10-12 copies also and most of the students were benefited by that. Unfortunately, at that time library management was not well done and was to be done manually. So there was some code number by which the library assistant used to find a particular book. Many times when assistant was not there then the librarian asked us to search the book ourselves and keep the old books back which were issued to us earlier. Now many students did some mistake in keeping the books back and kept them in a wrong place and then some other students were struggling to get it and were going from one almirah to other almirah to search the same. Whenever the Assistant found this happening he could easily correct the situation by keeping the wrongly kept book in the correct place and we were surprised on his accuracy and memory.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #717941
    When I was a college student, I often used to go to my college library. My college was not very big but the library of my college was peaceful and full of books. I often used to my college library to choose books related to my subject with my friends. We always tried to find answers to some questions with the help of books. This experience was very amazing. The library is the hallmark of any college where students read books related to their subject. I spent about 2 to 3 hours per day in the college library with my friends during complete my graduation.
    Phagu Mahato
    Success occurs when opportunity and preparation meet.

  • #717967
    I was much benefited by our library during my Post Graduation as I wanted some books for making my notes. When I searched in the library I got some of those books and our professor suggested some other books also which were available in the library. The books are quite costly and we cannot buy all the books. So, what we did was that we took those books from the library in turn for 4-5 days and made our notes. It helped us very much in our exam and most of us got good percentage. I remember that library much as I had a good time there searching the books and getting them issued for a few days.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #718023
    Library is a place where we can get abundance of knowledge and peace of mind too. During inspection work, I was posted in the library section to rearrange the books. It was really a fantastic experience as I could learn about many authors. The ladybird series related to young kids was my choice to read as it would not take much time. It was filled with simple sentences and beautiful pictures grasping the attention of children.
    Lots of magazines and periodicals too grab the space and attention of young, old and all ages of people to library. The cover story in magazines are drafted in such a way that it doesn't let us twinkle our eyes.

    Lead the leader

  • #718127
    Library, one of the favourite places of mine during my school days. We had a big and spacious library in my school with lots and lots of books. We were allowed to visit the library during free lectures. Being in a residential school, all my friends used to go back to the hostel in their free time but I always preferred to go to the library. It is not like that I was too much studious or a book worm, but I loved to see different magazines and newspapers. I still remember when I first time visited the library, I saw a teacher reading a newspaper on a newspaper stand. I was so fascinated that when he left, I just moved there and tried to read the newspaper on that stand but could not even reach the height.

    Living & Learning- simultaneous processes!

  • #718145
    When I was studying at Seventh Standard, we wanted to collect a few books in the classroom. We expressed our interest to the class teacher and the headmistress. They also encouraged us. There were about 50 students in my class that day. We need money to buy books. All the students in our class donated some rupees. The class teacher gave Rs.100 to us. With the money we collected, bought some small books. I still remember the class leader, the class teacher, and two or three of us going to the town to buy books. Most of the books were short stories and poems.

    To keep these books, a bench was brought to the front corner of the classroom. The few books we bought were stacked on top of the bench. Many students donated small books that they had bought and kept in their homes to our class with the permission of their parents.

    There were students in our class who did not even have a newspaper at home. Some students were buying English newspapers at home. After reading at home, we regularly bring an English newspaper and a Malayalam newspaper for our class. Students who buy newspapers at home do this alternately.

    We bought a notebook and wrote down the names of the books like a register. We also gave students the opportunity to take books home and read. This is the first library I've seen.

    Sobha Wilson
    Lighted to Lighten

  • #718299
    Library has lost its charm with the introduction of internet and the smart phones. People these days don't refer the books instead they prefer browsing the subject on the internet. I remember the days when I was in the engineering college and we had a big hall having lots of books kept in it where we could sit and study and could borrow the books for a limited time period and then had to pay fine if not returned it on the time. I remember people used to go to the library to study even during the preparatory leaves before the exams because they used to say that they feel a good environment to study there but I never preferred it and liked to study in the hostel itself.

    We had a library in the school when first time I came to know what encyclopedia is. Our librarian in the college was very strict and used to send people out if making noise so we had to keep silent there. But these days the craze for the library has gone. My kids also don't like it in the school though they have a good library in their school. It's really sad that we are losing liking for the library.


    " The two most important days in your life are the day when you are born and the day you find out why? "
    – Mark Twain

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