- Written by Megh Rathod, BL Customer Contributor
Brampton Library has been a HUGE part of my academics. Since I was a child, doing the summer reading challenges, desperately trying to get all the sticker rewards, and now, as I am working to apply for my postgraduate studies. Brampton Library, notably the Chinguacousy branch, gave me the opportunity to explore my interests and my curiosity. I was that one kid carrying a stack of books so high that you could barely see his face. I could explore whatever I was interested in, and I think this was invaluable to me in terms of breaking down boundaries. Money to buy books was no longer a restraint and this was something I valued from a young age. I can confidently say I have spent at least a 1000 hours in that library. Flash forward a bit and the Brampton Library is where I worked on my high school science projects, prepared for my IB exams, studied for the SATs, applied for university, printed out job resumes, tutored younger students, and recently studied for the MCAT.
I know that the Chinguacousy Branch means so much to people living in my neighbourhood of Knightsbridge. Growing up how I grew up but having a library so easily accessible (8 minute walk) really saved me. I made better choices in life, and I wasn't defined or limited to the realities that I knew. I'm glad my dad introduced me to the library at such a young age. As an immigrant, this luxury of the Brampton Library was so valuable to him and knowing that having access to this was a privilege that many don't have worldwide resonated with me.
I strongly believe that there is so much to learn in this world, and the library is a sacred place to do so. A temple of knowledge if you will. It's amazing to see how the library has become more than an antique library that only caters to books, and now has embraced the rapid development of tech. I'm proud to say I've actually visited every Brampton Library, and like how they have their own unique vibe. The library represents the diversity and the potential of a community.
I am a big believer in space. The physical space you go to get whatever that might be. When I spend all day at the library, I'm motivated to work, because I recognize that this space was created for self-betterment. Every day I hope to leave know that I learnt more than the previous day. The library became where I went to grow intellectually. I would be at the library forever if they would let me (sorry for being that one person the library staff is always waiting for to leave). I actually like to take a break by playing a game where I would walk the stacks of books and pick up a random book that caught my attention and flip to any page and read for 5 minutes, and then put the book back and quickly move on to another. This may go on for 30 minutes, but by the end I have glimpsed into 5 or 6 different things and I'll get hooked on something I read earlier, I'll try to back track and feed my interest. It sounds kind of ridiculous, but it's fun just going through books at random and I can get carried away, and I think it speaks to the breadth of the collection in the Brampton Library.
If I were to offer any room for improvement, it would definitely be in the initiatives and efforts for young adults who are really trying to pursue further education. No doubt is the library amazing and revolutionary in what they do for kids, youth, immigrants, and the elderly, but I wish there were more for people like me pursuing further studies. The after hours study hall is amazing, but if it could run in the summer it would mean so much more. For a lot of situations, the weekend evenings can be a valuable study time. A lot of people who come back home from university need a space, because the summer is where you start to work on these high level exams that require utmost concentration, diligence, and require a huge time requirement.
While studying for the medical school admissions exam, I have seen the other "regulars" studying for everything from law school, pharmacy, nursing, TOEFL, accounting, the GRE and the list goes on. These exams are HARD, and having a serious work space would be more ideal. A lot of times, studying for these is in addition to working a job, so library accessibility hours can be slim. I believe the library is for bettering yourself, and these people are trying to do so badly, so let's help them.
Obviously with the programming flexibility some spaces are more open, but a serious silent study is very important. The old silent study in the Chinguacousy branch was my absolute favourite. It was like a pin drop silence, with actual cubicles, and there were zero distractions. The current upstairs one isn't cutting it in my opinion. You can literally hear everything from people who sit outside it, kids running around. I just want a serious study space, and I know many people feel the same.
Overall, thanks to the Brampton Library, and if my input was deemed helpful, I would be interested in further engaging with the Brampton Library in my community.
Who is Megh? Megh Rathod is a long time Brampton resident and graduate from Turner Fenton Secondary School. Now studying Honours Integrated Science at McMaster University, he credits the Brampton Library for being a big part of his success.