Working and Working out
You must be wondering what I mean by the strange title. Well I haven't done anything much except sit in the library and work on the computer, read books and browse through magazines. Yes the same library I blogged about yesterday.
What am I doing so much on the computer, you might wonder... well I blog on this and also on another site known as Instablogs Network. This is where they are trying to bring bloggers and readers together and it has an editorial policy which limits important (what they feel is important) news can be posted along with the bloggers opinion. I have been able to successfully file about 30 stories a month to the instablogs network. There have been quite a few readers, responses to the site there too. I call it my news blog and this as my personal blog. You could check it out too if you feel like it http://srinidhi.instablogs.com.
It may be a little slow in loading but, it will load nevertheless. Sometimes it just goes down and I get a message saying "Instablogs is not available at the moment, please try later". Isn't it rather strange?? I find it rather strange.
Apart from that I have been generally having a good time. Came home in the evening and hit the gym. Our apartment has a superb gym. Worked out on the treadmill, weights et al for about one hour and then went to Mary's home for the usual south Indian dinner and returned home. Not feeling sleepy I am just tinkering around on the comp, it is 12.30 am and now I think I will go to sleep.
Gotta think about doing something tomorrow.... maybe I will go to the indoor wall climbing club nearby or even better go downtown and oogle at the bikes on the road. Or maybe sit at home and read the books I have borrowed from the library. Let us see, let me sleep and wake up in the morning.
Adios amigos! see you soon.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Working and Working out
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Getting Library Membership
Yesterday I confirmed my temporary membership at the Carrollton Public Library, Texas. I am simply floored by this wonderful county library and the simplicity with which one can become a member and borrow learning resources from here.
Before I go on I would like to write a little about Carrollton, a little suburb of Dallas which sprawls across an area of 37 sq. miles and hosts a population of 120,150 (January 2007). It has about 1,200 acres of officially notified green spaces and parks. One thing impressive about the city is its vast open spaces and its sustainable development. The natural landscape and formations have been preserved very well... the creeks and springs still flow (some have drainage flowing into them), almost all roads are lined by green lawns. Minimum width of the road would be approximately about 60'. There are two public libraries and membership to one automatically provides acess to resources in the other.
Now coming back to the membership process to the Carrollton Public Library. About two weeks ago I walked in to check out some magazines and also to verify the claim of several people who had said that internet browsing is free in public libraries in US and most EU countries. Yes this library and several others in the country provide free internet access (1 hr at a time) to members. And how does one become a member? No lengthy forms to fill up, no need to get your character and identity attested or endorsed by a gazetted officer of the federal government... nothing of that sort.
Just fill in a simple form and provide an identity and local address proof and bingo, you will get an impressive looking barcoded plastic card which will give you access to the phenomenal amount of resources the library offers. Since I didn't have a local address proof on my first visit they gave me a temporary membership which allowed me internet access and reading books and other resources in the library. The library also organises regular book reading sessions, book club meetings and other activities to promote reading and learning activities among students and youth. These activities are open for general public too.
The library has a collection of 250,000 books and other resources including magazines, journals, project reports, CD-ROMs, DVDs, VHS tapes, audio tapes. A member can borrow upto 45 resources at a time and keep it for over 2 weeks without having to pay a penny. Apart from these, the library offers private study rooms which have to be booked in advance, a childrens play room, a reference section, a research center and mentoring section. Awesome, this library is free, but it is better than even the British Trade Office library in Bangalore. I don't know whether India has even one library of this standard and which offers all these facilities yet.
In India getting a library membership is a herculean task, one has to fill in forms and then get it attested by a Gazetted officer of the state or central government and then wait for our identity and antecedents to be verified before we are granted membership. And after that one can borrow only 2-3 books only from the library. The other concepts, like private study, a children's play area, etc are unheard of in India. Internet access is still alien in most government offices, and 99% of the public libraries are owned and managed by the government. When will India become like here, with over 450 million youth in the country if we don't give them access to knowlege which is available in books, we are doing them a great disservice. If you want to do charity, don't give money to poor people, buy them books.
Think about it.