Friday, November 2, 2012

Library Visits!

My first vocational visit took place this morning and wow, what a morning! The day started with a “snack” (a.k.a. a full breakfast) at my host, Dr. Pratibha Siriya’s house where I was greeted with gifts (earrings and a bracelet!) and a full plate of delicious food. Dr. Siriya is the president of the Nagpur Orange City Club.

We then headed to a public library for a quick visit – they are open from 8-10 and then 5-8 in the evening. It was fascinating to see a public library up close – it was a small space but there were many books packed in! The library also had a reading room for the public to enjoy the many newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
A public library visit - the library manager on the right
We then headed to Dr. Ambedkar College where we visited 3 libraries – the main library, the commerce library and the law library.

Main library, Dr. Ambedkar College

I was extremely honoured to be shown the original Constitution of India from 1949. Dr. Ambedkar, after whom the college is named, actually wrote the Indian Constitution so the library at the college keeps the original copy.

Signatures on the original Indian Constitution

We then visited the main Nagpur University Library, a very large university library, as well as one of the campus libraries. It was interesting to see how similar these libraries are to Canadian college and university libraries. There were many students around and I got a chance to speak with some commerce and law students – they were quite surprised to see me walking around their campus!
Something I found very interesting is that in almost all of the libraries the books are kept in metal and glass cases rather than open shelves. I wasn’t able to take pictures inside several of the libraries (security reasons), but I did manage to take a few “snaps.”
A big thank you to my host and her Rotarian friends – it was a great introduction to Indian libraries!

- Sarah.

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