Yearbook : The Central Library
By Muhammad Shaafay Saqib
Photo Credits: Marium Ejaz
Oftentimes universities like to take strides, long shots, big projects or milestones. Sometimes, they conquer all four at the same time; and this time, for the academic year 2018 -19, NUST accomplished just that with the much-awaited Central Library – a tremendous three floor, 42,907 square feet mega-dwelling of at least 350,000 books that awaited passionate readers from all over campus! When it’s not filled with the eccentric bookworms, it welcomes desperate crammers just around the time OHTs (one-hour tests), mid-terms and ESEs (end-semester exams) roll around. Nearly three semesters have passed since it’s inauguration on November the 13th, so I would guess that we can all relate!
The Central Library, dubbed by MangoBaaz as “Every Book Lover’s Dream Come True”, had its sights on being a quintessential hub of education, knowledge, sitting and making yourself feel better because at least you tried to study, or the like. Ultimately, it also attracted some eager sights from the batch that graduated before it. Some of them, while happy to finally be done with their degree, lamented being only a year late to its grandeur. Those who will be graduating this year have it best, perhaps, for they are almost done with their degrees, but are nevertheless able to enjoy what they had been waiting for.
“However, what, dare I say”, you hear a shadowy voice ask in the distance, amidst a misty fog, “is all this fuss about?”
It’s a simple question to answer, since you know exactly what the fuss is about as soon as you walk in! The library exudes an aura of comfort; carefully placed sofas, tables, chairs, full book-shelves and overfull bag-shelves are arranged to fit the pseudo-elliptical shape of each floor, placed alongside the domineering pillars that hold the structure together. For some people, they get lost in thought when deciding where to sit: the computer tables or the laptop sofas, the sofas against the pillars or the sofas against the shelves, the tables in view of the passerby or the tables snuck and cozy between two shelves — no, really, which one? Send help!? For the rest, though, they decide before they even make their way in, and for those people, it’s often the tables hidden in the corner next to the masterful shelves on the top floor – peace, solitude, and none of their classmates there to call them a “theta”.
Still, there could perhaps be nothing that defines the place more than the imaginative decorative pieces that adorn, and are interlocked into the fabric of the building. We may sometimes overlook the risers of the stairs that have been costumed as the spines of timeless classics, but we may never forget the gargantuan cylindrical pillars of books on the bottom floor, that stretch from the ground to the ceiling. I’m sure we all checked, and so we know that those are real books! And we’ve all wondered what would happen if we were to, maybe, “accidentally”, pull one out… Now that might just be horrifying, so we’d rather not think of it.
Instead, we could think of pleasant times in the library, whether it involves going with friends, or enjoying the company of ourselves. You may be the one to try your best to study, and you do accomplish a little, but eventually, you would wonder why you’re still stuck on chapter one. Or maybe, you are the one for whom the library works like magic, keeping you concentrated, almost as though it hands you good grades in exchange for a little minded effort on your part. If it’s none of those, then you may just be the one to drag a few friends for a notorious group study session, only to instead discuss the most trivial of topics that excite you all – and that is okay, because it is simply joy (until the exam).
Whether it’s one of them, some of them, all of them, or none of them, you can fairly opine that it’s a place that alarms you by how amazingly it appeals to nearly everyone. It fills itself with books, the sound of the librarian scanning barcodes thereof, students looking to ace an exam, students looking to get lost in a novel, or just you, sitting alone, doing what you like. It’s only that, sometimes, all you would wish for is that it be a little quiet.