CHENNAI: As part of the Library Week celebrations, the Madras School of Social Work (MSSW) invited T Udhayachandran, commissioner of Archaeology, Government of Tamil Nadu, to conclude the week-long celebration with a special lecture on his relationship with books.
The celebration, which is in its tenth year, began with a two-day book fair on December 3 and 4. This was followed by a series of competitions like dumb charades, treasure hunt, news read, quiz and resource hunt. These were held every day till December 6.
“Although Library Week is usually celebrated in the third week of November, we decided to hold it in the first week of December as the students are usually on leave at the time. Reading is not just important for students or professionals. We try to inculcate life-long reading habits, which in turn leads to life-long learning for them,” said Dr V Sakthi Rekha, librarian. The MSSW library has around 20,000 books for its students to enjoy.
During his hour-long speech, Udhayachandran spoke of his fondness for books and the lessons that can be learned from reading. The IAS officer spoke of his impressive collection of books which amounts to 3,000. Viktor Mayer-Schonberger’s Big Data, P Archie Brown’s Myth of a Strong Leader and Allan Litchman’s The Keys to the White House are the few books that he referred to as being ‘on his desk at the very moment’.
“Literature is a reflection of society. While nothing can beat field visits, books can enhance your vision and give you options before you decide to go somewhere. You can live the lives of others through books, and understand their plight by reading. Hence, I think literature will help students of social work in the years to come,” said Udhayachandran.
Awards were distributed to the winners of the competitions. Principal of MSSW, Dr S Raja Samuel; president of the Society of Social Education and Research, Dr AM Swaminathan; MSSW’s library committee members and students attended the event.