Sunday, August 14, 2005

At the Library

Last Saturday, I went to the National Library at Jalan Tun Razak to see if there is any new interesting books. I was already a members years ago and renewed the membership last year when I had to look for materials for my project. Luckily I managed to get a parking lot within the library compound.

Surprisingly, the library was packed with people. I must be damn proud to be a Malaysian. Everybody suddenly is interested in reading and the library is more than full. The right wing of the library is undergoing a renovation for expansion.

I had to pass through the security at the ground level before I proceeded to the upper floor. I saw many people queueing up to be members. However, most of them are students.

At the first and second floors where the reference books are stored, the tables were all taken up. Many were raeding, some were looking at people, while some were busy whispering amongst themselves. But many were reading their revision books for their coming public exams.

I walked along the corridor, but there were some sitting by the corridor flipping some of the books they had taken from the shelves. Then I saw two students flipping through and fro over some law journals, the AMR ( All Malaysian Reviews) and the MLJ ( Malayan Law Journals) , discussing among themselves. I stole a glance and I saw one of them holding a Mimi Kamariah's Criminal Procedure reminding that they must be looking for some criminal cases. I let them to look for their cases. At least I could see that we have some good law students striving very hard.

I walked to the third floor still looking for a place to sit. Unfortunately I could not find an unoccupied one. The library was actually noisy. I wondered whether readers could absorb what they read in such situation akin to a market. There seemed there were endless walking about, laughters among the students, whisperings turning into talks as the noise level slowly picked up.

An interesting dialogue I picked up

"Tengok tu, Budak yang pakai tudong putih tu. Lawa-lah" said A.
"Oh yang itu, dengar Rosli syok sama dia." replied B.
"Mana si-Rosli tu. Ah..dia cakap aje, Mai kita pi cakap sama dia." A decided for an action.
"Yang tudong hitam sebelah dia, Sipa tu? Boleh tahan juga?" B began his hunt.
"Jangan tunggu lagi. Mai pigi karang." A moved away. B followed.

There were two photo-copying machine at the fourth level. Many students were queueing too for the services. The magazine section is located here. But again I could not find a place to sit so I have to be on the move again. I passed by the sections where maps were stored and economic and social science journals were available. Still the empty seat eluded me.

Then I went to the left wing of the fourth floor ans was the "Harvard Corner". Here a lot of Harvard publications were available, mostly on economics and business stuffs. I stood there to flip some books by well-known Harvard authors like Rosenbeth Moss Kanter, Micheal Porter "Can Japan Compete?", Robert Kaplan of the Scoreboard fame and many others. I wondered how my legs could last 30 minutes standing and I must had been absorbed by the articles.

I decided to go back as the air-con could not arrest the rising heat of the increasing crowd, the librarians could not control the increasing sound level and the numbers of new pairs and couples added a new dimension of what a library ought to be. I did not borrow any books as I knew I won't be reading them either. I passed through the security again and walked towards my car.

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