While librarians in most Delhi University (DU) colleges unanimously agree that the system of issuing books is “smooth,” students have a different story to tell — claiming that popular reference material is always in short supply.
The situation, however, is likely to change soon, with plans to make the reference material for all courses available online.
“We have received several complaints from students regarding the poor condition of books in libraries. We are trying our level best to make reference material available to students online or through other sources,” said Dinesh Singh, vice chancellor, DU.
“We, however, don’t know how long it will take for the change to come about as this is a big problem, which colleges too have neglected,” he added.
Having faced regular roadblocks in finding reference material, students have welcomed this piece of information.
“Our library has 10 copies of a particular book which is shared between us and students of physics (hons). Of this, teachers issue a few copies and around 90 of us have to share the remaining copies,” said Rahul Ranjan, a final year student of BSc (physical sciences) from Kirori Mal College.
“Teachers have told us to make groups and study, but that is impossible. It becomes very difficult for us to keep chasing that one book for days together,” he added. Till the time the plan is accomplished, students have offered immediate alternatives to the problem.
“If these books are made available online, it’ll be great. But for starters, the colleges must at least try to give us the essential readings in a booklet form at the beginning of every semester. This is also done at the the Indian Institutes of Management,” said, Raghu Chittari, an MBA student from DU’s Faculty of Management Studies (FMS).
The situation is diametrically opposite abroad.
In most universities abroad, students put in a requisition for a book even if it is out of stock and the librarians inform the students once the book has been sourced from elsewhere.
In DU, however, not only is the wait for a book endless, but the lackadaisical attitude of librarians has left students in a quandary.
“Librarians are extremely unhelpful when it comes to issuing books. They don’t care about the condition of the books or their placement in the library. It is really not our responsibility to hunt for them. It is their job to give it to us when we need material,” said Ira Jain (name changed), a first year Economics (hons) student of Hansraj College.