In the rapidly changing world around us, the different facets of relationships and their superficialness coupled with the numerous stressful elements casting a shadow on our lives, books prove themselves to be of great solace. Since forever, books are considered to be man’s best friend. Books although are non-living things but they are indeed a very precious treasure. Books really play a vital part in our lives as they can inspire a person to think ,make you break out into laughter and even move you to tears at times. These houses of treasure, give us company equally in times of happiness as well as in times of distress. Another popular quote about books goes like this, ‘Books are bees which carry pollen from mind to another mind.”
For those who are thirsty for knowledge, a library is nothing less than heaven itself. They can lose themselves in the vast pages of knowledge and wisdom for hours and come out (if they actually manage to leave this blissful place) with a broader perspective and a beautiful mind. Reading often does that to you. A library is nothing less than an asset to a school,college or even a neighbourhood. Libraries are synonymous with education and offer countless leading opportunities that can fuel economic,social and cultural development.
Surat consists of a library named which popularly is known by the name Narmad library.Its one of a kind and is located in the heart of the city. Narmad library was named in the memory of late Shri Narmadshanker Lalshanker Dave. He was a chirvalrous poet,a social reformer and most important he was the son of Surat city. This place is rightly situated in the center of city with the aim that it would be beneficial to the people living in the city. The library was inaugurated on the birthday of Kavi Narmad that is the 24 of August 1991.
Narmad library has a very touchy ambience which is incomparable. Once you enter in the library you will find beautiful paintings of Kavi Narmad on the walls. Besides the enormous paintings of the poet, there are pictures of important places of Surat likewise, the Surat port, old Surat railway station etc that adorn its walls. Pictures of religious place such as a temple , jain temple, mosque and so on are also seen on the wall at the entrance. It’s a beautiful symbol which welcomes people of all religion and signifies that knowledge is for everyone and that knowledge and the right to learn is above one’s religious or cultural backgrounds.
This place of knowledge caters to all sections of the society.It is more then just a place where you come and monotonously read the books. This house of knowledge remains closed for only ten days in the entire year. The working hours are from 8:30 a.m -8:00 pm in the evening. The library consist of seven sections namely E-library, newspaper and magazine section, children’s section, rare and reference books section, section for the blind people, reading section and the main books section.Apart from theses different segments it also conducts multiple programs on weekends. An entire scheduled for the month is provided to members in prior.Program are designed for the kids as well as adults.Programs includes quiz contest,laughter programs,movies etc. The above mentioned things highlights that it is not merely a library but far beyond it.
1.Central Books Section: Approximately 1,50,000 books are stored in this department. Books in different languages are found here so as to satisfy the needs of multilingual inhabitants of Surat .There is a separate section for novel readers. Each section is well labelled which makes it extremely reader friendly. They also have the facility wherein they can access and search for their books. Approximately 400 people visit this part of the library.
2. Children’s Section: This is the main attraction of the library. Once you have entered into this section you will definitely fall in love with this. This section makes you wish if we could also go back to our childhood. The section is very colourful and attractive. The sitting area contains beautiful and eye catchy green and red table and chair. It has shelves that are made almost of the height of kids so as to make it easier for them to fetch the books themselves. There are about 47000 books in the kids section. Around 100 children visit the library daily. They have computers which contains the list of the books available in that section. The kids can then decide the book that they want to borrow from the library. About 120 children can be accommodated in the room. In the story telling corner, there is an area containing creative toys and materials for drawing and colouring for kids for their developmental needs. There is also an area been built herein where they have narrators for story telling for the kids. Kids really love this place. On every first Sunday of the month, a movie is shown to them.
3.E-LIBRARY: In the E-library, they have about 7-8 computers. It is absolutely free for its members.Members can use them for an hour. There are facilities like printing and photocopy for which they charge a very nominal amount. Normally ten people utilize the E-library on a daily basis. The members can use this part of library from 8:30 a.m to 7:30 p.m. The use of Facebook and Twitter is prohibited for obvious reasons.
4.Newspaper and Magazine Reading Section: The library provides about 55 newspapers as a part of reading material. There are no extra charges for the facility. About 100 members can be accommodated at the same time. They have provided a separate sitting arrangement for the senior citizen members. All kind of magazines are found here that too in different languages.
5.Reading Section: This area is mostly utilized by the college students. They can study peacefully study here. They have different reading area for girls and boys. Different cubicles are provided for studying with a motivate that they are not disturbed.
6.Library for the Blind: This section is one of the key features of the library. This one a kind library provides books which contains embossed Braille characters. Narmad has around 2500 books and the membership is absolutely free. Audio-visual materials are also provided for them. An alphabetical chart in Braille is placed on a wall in this room. Short stories, Bible, Readers digest are a part of this section etc. A lot of efforts have been taken while making his section.
7.Rare Books and Reference Area: It is one such area of library which is on the first floor. The books in this section are rare and not available easily and hence the members cannot borrow the books and have to read them in library itself. This area contains books, paintings and pictures which are rarely found. It can considered an asset of this section.Different sitting is provided to scholars and researchers. An average of 25 visitors use this section daily. A lot of reference books are available here.
For surely if you stay in Surat its worth being a part of this library.