When I was growing up, there was no Google and we looked up for our answers in Encyclopedia(s) in the library. I remember how as a student I was enchanted by my school library – a room full of racks, one row after another containing in them hundreds of books written much before even I was born. It’s a sad irony today that libraries have lost their sheen and online search media has taken over instead.
But this 15th of September, I got an opportunity to experience the magic that a library holds at the Family Day at British Council Library. Yes, you guessed it right, I took my boy along with me to be a part of various events and celebrate completion of 70 years of British Council in India.
Mr. Debanjan Chakrabarti, the head at British Council Library announced that the library that was until now open during the weekdays, will now be open during the weekends also. He said that the team at British Council realised that to inculcate healthy reading habits among kids, their parents needed to take initiative and them spending time with the kids in the library premise will be a good step in the direction.
The fun and frolic that I witnessed during the Family Day celebrations, actually touched my heart and assured me that there was this one place, where I could get my kids to get back to the basics and enjoy the charms of reading. At the same time, I did not have to forgo the technological advances, as British Council Library is equipped with all latest online platforms giving you access to unlimited research resources. While the library boasts of 1.5 Lac books across subjects, 30k+ books for kids it also holds the pride of having and online library with over 16k+ comics and graphic novels. For research purposes, the library gives you access to JSOTR one of the most globally used academic resource hub – supporting research and academics, students and researchers. What more can a reading enthusiast ask for!
For me, the ‘Family Day’ at British Council Library was a reinstatement of the fact that ‘library is a library is a library’ and its significance for its innate abundance of knowledge and learning cannot be berated. Though my son did look through the large number of books for kids available in the library, for him the major draw was the story telling session by noted performance storyteller, Priyanka Chatterjee. And, the tattoo art that he got on his hand made him just too happy!
The British Council Library premise in Kolkata is not just a library, but a learning hub evolving into a cultural centre for exchange of ideas, learning of new skills and a space for networking. There is a wide range of professional development workshops; self-development content such as audiobooks, and how-to resources on specialised topics such as Atomic Training. Access to IELTS practise resources is also one of the highlights of the library.
Have you ever been to the British Council Library in your city? How has your experience been? Do share with us in the comments.
Read about how Story Telling has been reinvented with times!