INTERNATIONAL LIBRARY AND CULTURE CENTER, RANCHI, JHARKHAND, INDIA.
A lady with an uncommon heart.
Taking a break from pouring over books and papers in disciplined silence, students hailing from diverse ethnic backgrounds settle down for celebrating Wikipedia day with the promise of slices of fresh cake at the end of the small lecture cum ceremony, inside a rustic building that was once a residential flat roofed Bungalow before becoming the British Council Library and later the International Library and Culture center of Ranchi, Jharkhand – initiated in 1991 to make books affordable for kids whose parents barely earned enough to make ends meet.
A former nurse working with the Central Institute of Psychiatry, established in 1918 as the Ranchi European lunatic asylum, Mrs. A.B. Davis, was a warm hearted philanthropist whose greatest contribution to society outside her profession perhaps was the creation of the library that took over the responsibility of ensuring successive generations could continue to dream of a prospective future after the British Council Library for lack of patronage had decided to shut down.
A enterprise she achieved in association with other citizens of the small city that was still a part of the Indian state of Bihar back then. Working as the founding member of the board of trustees, till her death in 2004, at the age of 85. But not before enlarging the library’s collection of books and research papers in several genres for the benefit of the students and sprucing it up with modern facilities.
The library and culture center currently has separate reading rooms for boys and girls, photoshop machines, a large ensemble of periodicals, educational study material, foreign language literature, causal novels and takes to organizing fests, functions and celebrations for keeping alight the flame of knowledge – like the Wikipedia day, attended by both students and the media.
Presently, the institution is rated among the top three best libraries, in the growing city of Ranchi.