Ernakulam Public Library is all set to reach out to residential areas in search of potential readers.

At a press conference at the library here on Friday, library secretary Ashok M. Cherian said that activities like formation of reading clubs with the assistance of resident's associations and delivery of books at home would be undertaken as part of the initiative.

He said that owing to the travelling woes experienced in the city, readers were finding it difficult to reach the library. A solution to this was to deliver the books to the readers through reading clubs.

To begin with, a reading club will be formed in the High Court. If the initiative to ensure easy access of books to judges, lawyers, and High Court employees was found to be a success it would be extended to more areas.

Ernakulam Public Library boasts of 1.50 lakh books, including books published decades ago to the latest releases. Book shelves had been arranged in a built-up space of 7,000 sq.ft. spread over two floors.

Almost the entire collection of world classics is available at the library. Books published in English, Malayalam, Tamil, Konkani, and Sanskrit languages are available. Selected books are purchased at the books fairs besides buying the titles recommended by the readers.

The debates organised by the library and its film club had evoked respect for it among the public. The library has about 10,000-odd members from almost all walks of life.

The children's section had been organised on a built-up space of 780 sq.ft. It has collection that caters to different kinds of taste. The third floor of the library had been arranged taking into account the new arrival of books for the next ten years.

Already modernisation works to the tune of Rs. 35 lakh had been undertaken. Another Rs. 30 lakh would be needed for the completion of these works. Mr. Cherian said that it was a dream to have a full-fledged building complex on the 45 cents of the land of the library. It would need an investment of Rs. 10 crore.

As part of giving a facelift to the library a garden is being planned. Setting up a small stage would ensure a permanent venue for the cultural programmes being organised by the library from time to time. Assistance for the modernisation and development of the library would be sought from Union Ministers A.K. Antony, Vayalar Ravi, and K.V. Thomas. The library was looking up to assistance from MLAs, trading and commercial organisations, readers, and public sector organisations.

Vice-president C. Ramachandra Menon, Librarian V.V. Ramachandran, committee members E.S. Jose and Ravi Kuttikkad were also present.

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