I’m a book on the shelf. I too need change.
Yes. I’m that wedged book in the shelf you often miss as you pass by. That is if at all you visit the library. Time in the Mahatma Gandhi Central Library before the renovation was not up to par.
Sometimes I did find you stop by. It felt like you were searching for me. You ran your fingers through all my neighbours’ spine or searched for books by its colour. I found it comical when you tilt your head and read the titles of the book. ROFL. Guys, you have to search for the rack and serial number.
Anyways life at a crumped up shelf in the old MGCL was rustic. The aroma was queer, and space felt slow and dusty. Almost like a wild west saloon. Without regular inflow of students, it felt all the more empty.
Every year when a new batch comes, I would find hoards of people walk in during their library hour and look around the space. “Guys, this is no museum!” I would want to shout. Apart from the library hour, exam-time was when another hoard of people would take books by the bunch.
One beautiful day I was picked. Boy! Was this the turning point in my life?
During a trip out, I began to get aspirational.
I began noticing the 4-corner change gradually. Buses were no longer allowed till the ECE Block, and the back gate was relocated. Changes that came after were like a domino effect. Cognizant’s contract at the MVB block was over. iQube, CEAD, and Portal began getting new spaces. The bakery was shifted to a more prominent location. And a food court? I pinched myself and asked if this was real. Something called Ré came into existence. I pinched myself twice and harder when I saw Café Coffee Day.
After my trip out, I could no longer accept my vintage looking space. The dust all around bothered me. The fan was creepily slow, and the walls were choking me.
I shouted on top of my voice. I was heard.
A fantastic team (an article about the team that transformed MGCL will be released soon) came in and started work right away. Wow, they began planning the transformation. Although I was shifted to a smaller place, it did not matter for I knew the wait for 20th March was worth it.
MGCL was transformed, and I am in a space that is better looking than all other places in KCT put together. Instead of one chunk of 18,000 sq.f.t., there were now study halls that were air-conditioned, and silent zones to study. (Find out more about how to make the maximum use of the library in the next article). Although I am still wedged in the crumped up shelf, I LOVE IT.
The view can never before be the same. I enjoy this new space. What I love the most is I can see a lot of people around me. Best thing is, it is not for the books alone. Students walk in for events too. There are project displays and even presentations that often happen in the library. Oh! For a book like me, this is indeed a sight I cherish. Wonderful to see knowledge spread this way. I can say that this new space has given a boost to knowledge sharing. I’m happy that I am surrounded by loads of people all throughout the day. The walls and ceiling no longer choke me. In fact, I feel my horizon has become broader. My life with this view is amazing.
Do visit me often.
The MGCL series is for the vacation edition newsletter of KCT. The series is about a book’s reason on why space needed a change, the fantastic team that transformed the library, ways to make the most of the space in MGCL, and how we – you and the library – can collaborate to grow together.
The series is written by Arun Kumar Manoharan. He is an alumnus of KCT. He graduated from the department of Aeronautical Engineering in 2016. His favourite pass time is reading, and he sharpens what he reads by writing in his self-exploratory blog – maktheway.com