In a time when e-books have turned into a rage and no book is elusive thanks to the e-commerce boom, the college library is definitely not the place that it used to be in the past. College life today is equated with fun outside the college – in malls, in bowling alleys and movie theaters, and definitely not with sitting in the library for hours. Besides, with the advent of the internet and its ability to furnish up-to-date information, a lot of books kept in library for eons are left redundant. So that should imply death knell for college libraries, right?
As dull and drab as it may appear, the college library, along with numerous interesting titles on the shelves and with its share of intriguing characters, is very much alive and kicking even today. Lets meet these eight kinds of people you’ll come across in every library.
1. The Aspirant/Researcher
Surrounded by multiple books lying scattered on the table and nervously nibbling on the tip of the pencil/pen are the hallmarks of these groups of people. They are the ones who have their eyes, eyeballs, eyebrows, eyelids…all trained on CAT or UPSC or ‘that’ coveted scholarship and will leave the library only when asked err..pleaded to. They will always have their own corner in the library with which they have developed an ‘intellectual’ love affair. All it will take for their day to go haywire is to see their table occupied by someone else.
2. The Perpetual Scrounger
Choosy. Picky. Fastidious. To see them rejecting one book after the other after hours of wandering around the shelves can irritate even the most patient of them all. Plus, the cherry on the top would be their final declaration after scrounging the library for an hour – “Dude, this library sucks.” But here’s a little secret about the Perpetual Scrounger, he/she just loves to be around books, who would get fascinated with every new title in the library. And hence no amount of books are enough to quench the thirst of this scrounger.
3. The Schemers
Can find 5 good books in the library shelves but can get only 4 issued…so what do you do? Generally, you would pick the best 4 and leave behind the 5th one. But some minds work in twisted ways. They are the Schemers, who will do everything to keep the best books away from getting to others’ hands. So, some books will be pushed behind in the most obscure corner of the shelf. Some will demote the books to the bottom most shelf where the causal book searcher never ventures. What more, thanks to their ‘vicious schemes’, at times you might just come across the best book of Economics among the English Novels!
4. The One Timer
Having hated the school librarian’s stare on the slightest of noise all these years, the student is almost elated when he realizes that the compulsion to sit in a library is over upon entering college life. The pull of the world outside the college – the McDonalds, the PVRs, the shopping malls is irresistible and the library is soon forgotten once the ritual of making the Library Card is done. So, the only time you’ll meet the One Timer in the library is when you’re in the queue with him in that first of month of the semester. He might just turn his feet towards the library when exams approach, but the sight of heads buried in books is just too much for him and he retraces his steps for the better.
5. The Phone Chargers and the Wi-Fi Raiders
This bunch belongs to Crime Master Gogo’s cult. Acting on his theory of “Aaya hu to kuch to lekar jaunga!”, their day in the college will be incomplete if they don’t take anything back with them. And if nothing much, then at least a free charge of the phone battery would suffice their Crime Master Gogo instincts. These people would sit for hours in the library merely with the purpose of charging their phone batteries or using up the free college Wi-Fi.
6. The Doodler/Scribbler
Some people just can’t contain the Picasso in them. And if not the canvas, they will adorn the library reading tables with their ‘art’. Meet the Doodler. From Minimalism to Modern Art, every art comes out of the nib of the mind overflowing with thoughts in the library. If not sketches and drawings, students in their moments of great enlightenment will use the reading table to jot down pearls of wisdom. Some of them go like “Wanna meet up babeh..here is my number”. And about their art works…well, the lesser said the better.
7. The Pleader
One thing that is constant for students in both school and college libraries is the presence of a nagging librarian. And then there is the other constant too, that is the students’ habit of issuing books, keeping them in the cupboard and forgetting. And when the student realizes the hefty fine the book has accumulated, the only option left is pleading for mercy before the librarian. And guess what, with the kind of excuses put forward by the Pleader and rebuttals by the always-in-a-bad-mood librarian, the dialogue between them is definitely worth a listen.
8. The Observer
And then there is the observer. Quietly sitting in a corner reading the newspaper or sifting through books in the library shelf, the observer has always his eyes and ears open to anything that is wee bit interesting going around him. He might look deeply engrossed in what he does, but most of the times he is totally vella. Interestingly, the Observer is oblivious to the knowledge that he isn’t the only one observing people around him and someone somewhere out there is observing him as well!
Image credit : https://mvp.edu.in/image/lib.
About author : Amit Sinha, is a 3rd year Political Science student at Ramjas College, Delhi University.