shifting gears Careers

Aruna Kumar Gadepalli’s shift: quite a pageturner

Hooked to books Aruna Kumar Gadepalli is now a librarian at a school

Hooked to books Aruna Kumar Gadepalli is now a librarian at a school  

Aruna Kumar Gadepalli’s move from a Lecturer to a librarian has grounded him to become a live-or-die bookworm

When speaking to Aruna Kumar Gadepalli, known to his buddies as Arun, you’re met with a sage-like disposition complete with soft chuckles and a humble sweetness – exactly what you’d expect from a librarian. But what few people know is that Arun used to be a University-level lecturer.

Hailing from Kurnool, the 50 year old was making big moves as a lecturer, adding, “I completed my MA, Masters in Political Science, and cleared an eligibility test for teaching, doing research as well. I was also into research projects. I started as a Lecturer in a Degree College along with other teaching-related tasks like paper evaluation, conducting events,as a judge during competitions.”

So when the time came to make a change, Arun reflects on just how truly epiphanous it was for him, “I was working in research projects from 1991-1995, joined as a Lecturer in 1995; at the beginning of 1996, I read Krishnamurti: A Biography by Pupul Jayakar. That really made me question my life’s purpose and I sat down and took audit of my life and I felt I was passionate about books, soemthing I hadn’t realised till then. Many reasoned out about this but I took a call and switched and started from basic qualifications of Librarianship.”

While there seem to be many similarities between being a lecturer and a librarian, there are equally stark differences. Librarians require a certification which involve a great deal of cataloguing and staying up to date with new publications. And coherently communicating what are good reads for any given person is vital for anyone in field.

Now, being a librarian for Chirec International School with a speciality in International Baccalaureate curriculum, he looks back and recalls his loved ones were really surprised at the change from a career where he was equipped with qualifications that are suitable to University level professions. But as most loved ones do, they understood Arun’s decision over a period of time – for which he is very grateful.

Ups and downs

At the beginning of 1996, I read Krishnamurti: A Biography by Pupul Jayakar. That really made me question my life’s purpose and I sat down and took audit of my life

Such a shift didn’t come without its fair share of bug changes. As a person it has made Arun a good listener, helping him understand the queries of people with whom he’s interacting. Suggesting good books resources keeps him updated of areas of interest, which is important to motivate others to read. Ultimately, it’s a move he doesn’t regret, because of these transformative changes.

Given the advent of technology, Arun acknowledges that there are challenges librarians face, explaining, “I understood the librarianship from my college days and met stalwarts in the profession whose contribution is highly regarded, this made me understand the challenges. But with internet making its way into all our lives how to make the readers enjoy books is a challenge that everyone is facing.”

If you’re more curious about Arun’s librarianship, you’re bound to find him at events like Human Library and pretty much any other book-lovers’ event in the city.

(This column features people who dared to give up lucrative career to pursue their dream)

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 10:01:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/careers/shifting-gears-aruna-kumar-gadepalli-from-lecturer-to-librarian/article21933623.ece

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