Defence Central Library enters a modern era | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Defence Central Library enters a modern era

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: The celebrations at the inauguration ceremony of the newly renovated Defence Central Library (DCL) on Tuesday focused on the exterior facade of the building but the real difference could be felt within the library. Scores of students were seen huddled around, focusing on either exam preparations, perusing newspapers, or researching on the web. Some were also there to soak in the new ambience of the library that exhibits painstaking efforts put in by the DHA management to make the DCL an international calibre library.

The renovated and upgraded library building is a symbol of enlightened progress in an atmosphere greatly dictated by intolerance and fanaticism. DCL secretary Ayesha Chaudhry said: “It is a momentous and epic moment as it represents a new era of modernity in Pakistan. The DCL represents progress, knowledge, information and literary excellence and all these traits are the foundation of intellectual progress.”

The DHA has always attached great importance to the promotion of knowledge and education in society and its multiple projects, including several schools throughout the city, are a testament to this commitment.

The DCL, established in 1991 as a centre for excellence and intellectual growth of society, has long been a haven for students of all ages and academic backgrounds to access the multiple resources the library houses.

“Over the years the DCL has evolved into one of the most sought-after libraries in the metropolis,” she added.

With a dearth of libraries in Karachi, dwindling resources and a lack of patronage from the government, organisations and individuals, the DCL has always practised an open-door policy for those who wished to benefit from its multiple resources, or just enjoy a few hours of solitude within its walls.

DHA administrator Brig Zubair Ahmed was the chief guest at the inauguration. When he had first taken office in Sept 2014, on the very first visit to the premises he had decided to upgrade and modernise the library complex to convert it into an icon of the DHA.

Not only has the exterior construction been upgraded into an elegant architectural design with arabesque detailing, but the interior generously uses warm lighting to set up a conducive environment. It is a stark difference from the busy main road that the library is situated on.

Different facilities the library initially offered have been upgraded, such as more secure locker rooms for students, a larger database of online resources, as well as an extensive range of resource materials for different fields of study. And fiction books as far as the eye can see!

“The refurbishment and modernisation of the library has cost about Rs83 million and done within a record six months. The massive uplifting, renovation and upgrade also makes it the first library in Karachi to be access friendly for the differently abled. The design of the structure connects the main library building with the car parking through a wheelchair ramp,” said Ms Chaudhry.

Brig Ahmed wishes that the DCL should serve as a catalyst in promoting education and research-oriented reading habits in society. He commended the engineers, contractors, the secretary as well as the library staff for being present at every step of the challenging project and supporting it till its completion.

“The DCL, a repository of knowledge and culture, is a gift to the people of Karachi with the aim to bring intellectual renaissance in society and make our nation progressive, enlightened and civilised.”