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Guardians of Knowledge:

Celebrating the Role of Librarians and Libraries
Preserving the Past, Empowering the Future From April 3-9th, ILA Magazine's Guest Editor, Mr. Mushtaque B. Barq, offered a prompt to writers observing National Library Week. The prompts offered were a great opportunity to celebrate valuable roles that libraries and librarian workers perform in shaping communities. Along with the three poets Mr. Barq chose, ILA is also featuring his poem as well. TRIBUTE TO LIBRARIANS (National Poetry Month, April 2024) In the city of silence, a hollow hall shelves wisdom Sealed in the coffins of words, the great bards of yore and now Who peep down through our pupils and leaves a mark for future And silently ignite the ignored and half-paced, still spark. S. R. Ranganathan, father of library science A visionary, a seed of wisdom sowed silently In the ripe soil for generations to come and take heed For every learned soul with love, pays sincere heed to breed. Library workers, like bees, move around, but silently And place the volumes, those life giving modules and models Shelved according to the digit as marked on the board Repair when needed, replace when departing unnoticed Those gentle hands that hold velvety touches of bards Novels, histories, anthologies, and biographies They go but un-praised, for we leave the books and move on, Ah! And find the book on the right shelf the next day, with a wink Without a word to the workers in the hall, what a fall! Let those hands stay and serve the rest, for the best services A bookless world is the darkest, deepest, most deadly den. © MUSHTAQUE B. BARQ Guest Editor Jammu/Kashmir, India BEYOND THE BOOK Having a passionate bond with books, Intensity of thirst to gain more knowledge
was never satisfied. Love story began when my father wrapped my school books with wrapper! It was pure joy to read through poems, History, Geography, mathematics with beautiful stories of moral science! Encyclopedia was the gem of all books In my school, which filled the universe My heart skidded on Nancy Drew, taking me on adventures and a mysterious world, where she dominated! Enid Blyton wasn't left behind! "Mills and boons" gave me a sip of pure love Honest dreams which seemed quite true but Shakespeare took me to a whole new world through beautiful stories of romance and battles, which seemed too real! Archie's characters taught me that you can really be silly and happy, without a care! That was the time when I heard about computers, which at the time, was alien to me! I was deeply smitten by the world of computers and grabbed every book which explained depth! I couldn't afford to get into any of its courses, the dreams shrunk and tried to compromise with - whatever available! Electronics for you was the magazine which became my craze but my friend giving me "competition for success", "Sports Star" I'd take only for Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi along with loads of comics! Having a mini library in my home, was like owning a large one showing me the world through few pages but my brain used it many ways without a limit, so wonderful! Secret messages were written on books which I used to analyze like Agatha Christie, which was very exciting! The smell of fresh crisp pages which were attached to each other and lines with errors, missing pages were all acitvities we were involved when books dominated our little world! Beyond the horizon of books, a world of possibilities are still waiting eagerly for us! © SONAL RAO India THE OARSMEN OF WORDS Swimming deep, in the ocean of books, Hemmed by driftwoods and old cloth bounds, Words unburden histories of yore, before the keen eyes. Vying for attention are the myths and legends of love, separation, and tragedies of unlucky souls, from fissures of past; The moth eaten pages hum and trill of battles lost and won by knights and horsemen. Diving deep, through the mulch and algae of dour history, You come across Elizabethan pearls, And Renaissance mollusks and classical anemones; Arrayed in gear, the Jacobean scripts, questioned the social order, While the metaphysical bards, filled their creativity with subtle and deeper meanings, foreshadowing the rise of romanticism, pedestalling emotion and love. As you skim the insides, shuffling through the frosty stacks, You'll find hidden treasures, ensconced between the lines Studded with symbolic gems, conveying great truths Than those who learned on naturalism, realism and worshipped nature. All said and done, libraries remain the most pious institutions, preserving The chronicles of man and nature in a time-capsule. ©KALUCHARAN SAHU India A BIRD IN THE LIBRARY When I enter the library And stand near the cupboard Full of books, I felt like a bird Thirsty for a word, Through flutter, a word I utter; In every book I feel a brook of knowledge, Flowing calm and quietly In the clime of wisdom, Drinking its water to the fullest I enjoy my freedom, Some golden page For me, a wishful golden cage, Entering it I tweet Essence of life sweet, Going through paragraph I revise my flight's graph Some meaningful sentence ending with why Opens new vistas in the sky Me, voracious bird, digests each word With new vision, I see the world, At comma, semi colon I pause And think over my noble cause, Sumptuous intellectual feed Modifies my beak, With my revised edition I attain new peaks, My new version Gives me a new vision, Me, bird in the library Wish it could be an aviary, Like me, other birds Would fly in the world of words! © SUBHASHCHANDRA B. ADHAV India

Guardians of Knowledge:
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