Despite securing the top spot in the recent QS rankings, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay is grappling with significant challenges within its library - a crucial element of the campus for over six decades. A recent report in 'Insight', the institute's student magazine, sheds light on the issues, emphasizing staff shortages and limited space.
Students speak out on IITB library challenges
The report highlights a surge in student complaints encompassing grievances such as staff shortage, inadequate timings, limited searing capacity, overcrowding, and restricted access to essential resources like the Bloomberg Terminal within the Central Library. Notably, the shortage of library staff emerges as a significant hurdle, with over 20 retirements in the past five years and no replacements, leaving the current staff of 39 struggling to meet students' demands.
Insight's survey among students reveals that more than 50% of respondents utilize the library 5-6 times a month, with over 8-% appreciating its role as a conducive study environment. However, concerns are raised about air conditioning, power sockets, washrooms, and demands for dedicated non-AC spaces, additional LAN ports, improved water facilities, streamlined construction processes, updated reference books, and the introduction of a cafeteria.
Professor Shankaranarayanan addresses library challenges post-pandemic
In a Insititute's student magazine interview with Professor S. Shankaranarayanan, the convener of the library committee, broader institutional challenges post-pandemic are highlighted, indicating that understaffing is a widespread issue requiring systematic solutions. Shankaranarayanan acknowledges the necessity for expansion, proposing a potential doubling of capacity within 6-12 months after completing renovation work in the main building, stating, “We get only two months in a year for any construction work in the library building.”