Students, research scholars praise uplifting of UoP’s central library

Sher Alam Shinwari

PESHAWAR: Students and research scholars of different disciplines and faculties have appreciated the uplift and renovation of the central library of the University of Peshawar (UoP) set up in 1951 in the main administration block spread over 16000 sq.ft. The uplifted library would benefit hundreds of students studying at 48 different departments of the university. Though all the departments on campus also have had their own libraries with treasure troves of books on the faculty being taught to the students but still the upgraded would help research students a lot.

The three-storey facility stacks around 696 rare from 400 to 1,000 years old manuscripts of oriental languages including Urdu, Arabic, Persian Sindhi, Pashto and Punjabi alongside over 170, 000 titles on a variety of subjects. The central library treasured ‘Fitawa-i-Naqashbandi’ authored by Maulana Moinuddin, one of the three copies in the world. The other two copies–one each is stacked in Madina University, Saudi Arab and Islamia College University old library. The manuscript is to be a rare treatise on ‘Hanafi’ sect of Islamic Jurisprudence.

“The library had been through massive renovation process way back in 2001 on completion its 50 years and again this facility will go through uplift scheme which in fact will be completed by September where students of all the other universities will take advantage of this facility,” said Ali Zafar, a student of the university.

The administration of Peshawar University has recently taken a decision to complete work on uplift project of its central library to be completed by September this year. Dr Yorid Ahsan Zia, project director told this scribe that up-gradation of the central library was a component of funded project ‘strengthening of academic and professional facilities (the PSDP/HEC) at the University of Peshawar’. Students of BS, MS, MPhil, PhD and post-doc would benefit from it, he told.

He added that uplift of central library was aimed at the rehabilitating of infrastructure, provision of latest books, database and digitization of books issuance and return. “The upgraded library will provide for discussion rooms, stack area, digital library section, oriental section, books preservation section, manuscript display, and a computer lab. The book searching, issuance, and return will be facilitated through online public access catalogue (OPAC), radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging, and self-check-in/check-out station,” explained Mr Zia.

Prof Dr Fakhrul Islam, Director Pakistan Study Centre, while sharing his views on the development stated that though a bit late, uplift of the central library of Peshawar University would not only benefit research students on campus but would also help enhance readership habit among them. He pointed out that unfortunately, universities lacked a system that should motivate students to turn to libraries for amassing knowledge.

Ansarullah Khan, a student and study circle initiator on campus said that state-of-the-art library being an essential component of the university campus in fact served as brain-wielder where young minds gained creative strength from the treasure of books to form a world view. The uplifting of the central library was a praiseworthy job amid the mounting financial crises, he maintained. He said that positive activities would have a space in the library-quiz competition, mushaira and study circles on national days etc.

Zareena Hafsa, a student of social anthropology department who is doing doctorate stated that girl-students would draw maximum benefits from the upgraded facility on the campus especially those doing research theses on subjects for which relevant stuff could be easily accessed online to them. “Students should be motivated to use libraries for their research purposes especially academic, also library science subject should be updated,” Ms Hafsa said.

Zamarud Khan Bacha, a senior research scholar opined that space for students’ study circles and access to online research contents were things that would help attract students to turn to library for a deep peep into serious research investigation. He said that libraries on the campus should attract students and if not, students would get involved in unhealthy activities, all the departments should assign research based papers to their students so that they could turn to libraries to complete their research assignments by consulting books, research papers and treatise.

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