Behind The Scene
Spreading the Gift of Knowledge
The Guru Nanok Library located on the campus of the Uttar Bangla College at the village of Kakina of the Kaliganj Upazila from the Lalmonirhat District; plays an important role in spreading knowledge not only among its students and teachers but also amongst the students of other educational institutes and local people who enjoy reading.
S. Dilip Roy
The Guru Nanok Library, a three storey building has become a hub of knowledge, crowded with people who spend their free time reading books, doing research, studying and discussing literature. The main focus of the library is to help the students from poor families, who cannot afford to buy books from the market.
In 2001 Dr. Mozammal Haque, economist and founder of the Uttar Bangla College requested the Shik Community in Scotland to help set up the library. Soon the community donated funds for construction along with 8,000 books to help start the library. Therefore, in honor of the community the library was named after its guru – “Guru Nanok”. At present the library holds more than 10,000 books.
According to college sources, the donations from the Shik community were used to construct the ground floor of the library. One year later, the 1st floor of the library was constructed by donations from the Asia Foundation and the Scottish based ACEI (The Association for Childhood Education International). The 2nd floor was constructed using the college's own funds.
The library opened its doors to the public in 2002. For the first year, it didn't get the desired response. Only after the first year did it turn into the book lover's sanctuary that it is today.
Nurul Amin, library-in-charge and a teacher of library sciences at the college had this to say, “The library is open morning to evening, seven days a week and has 200 seats arranged in reading rooms for not only teachers and students of the college, but also for teachers and students of other educational institutes along with local book lovers who flock to the library when they have free time during the evening.”
Nurul also stated that the students from poor families are the ones who benefit the most from the library. Since these boys and girls cannot afford to buy books from the markets, they instead come to the library to catch up on their lessons and do a little reading.
Rafia Nasrin Dina, an honors coordinator of the college said, “I always advise the students not to waste their free time, I've always encouraged the students to come to the library and read books on different subjects like heritage and literature, so that they can increase their knowledge. It makes me happy to see all my advising paying off, now majority of the students spend their free time in the library.”
Amina Khatun, a 3rd year honors student of English said, “Most of the college's students come from poor families. Our parents cannot afford to purchase all the textbooks for our classes. However, we don't let this stop us, we move ourselves forward just like the other students in town. Yet, none of this could have been possible without the books we get to read from the Guru Nanok Library.”
Kamol Roy, a 2nd year honors student of Management from the college said that the students are getting the gift of knowledge from the library on the campus. It is only because of the library that the students are getting brilliant results in examinations.”
Arisa Khatun, a 1st year student of HSC from the college said, “We, the students of the Uttar Bangla College consider ourselves lucky for getting the opportunity to build our knowledge through reading different books, even the world famous ones that are easily available in the library.”
Montoz Kumar, a teacher of the Economics Department in the college said that the founder (Dr. Mozammel Haque) established the college to ensure that the students of poor families, especially the female students from the rural areas of Kakina and other adjoining villages in the district receive a good education. Keeping that in mind the founder approached the donors in Scotland about the library, so that it would help in the molding of the brilliant minds of tomorrow.
Mahfuzul Islam, Vice Principal of the college said, “The Guru Nanok Library of the Uttar Bangla College is the largest and most updated library in the greater Rangpur region. The library also has a language lab, where the teachers and students can learn the English language. There are a total of 3,500 students in the college and 126 staff members that include 101 teachers.”
Prof. A. S. M. Monowarul Islam, the principal of the college said that the teachers and students of the college are lucky to have the opportunity to read different books on campus. Since the library opened in 2002, the examination results of the college have been higher than that of any other non-government college in the greater Rangpur region.
The principal also said, “Now the entire scenario of the Kakina village has been changed, along with the educational atmosphere of college, none of these things could have been possible if it wasn't for the efforts of the founder, Dr. Mozammel Haque. The founder, the teachers and the students are always trying to modernize the library. However, they can only do so with the help of the government”.
(R) thedailystar.net 2012