The Habitat Technology Group will soon begin the ‘vertical expansion’ work at the University of Kerala Library (KUL).

The agency will thus fulfil a long-standing requirement of the institution to have a conference or seminar hall of its own.

The construction of an additional floor will also be supplemented by an elevator system inside the library complex.

Leaky roofs, stained walls, and inadequate toilet facilities will change for the better with the comprehensive redesign plan. Landscaping of the courtyard and better parking facilities are also part of the plan.

The civil and electrical works of the library will be implemented at an estimate of Rs.1.42 crore.

This fund is part of a government’s special allocation of Rs.11 crore in 2008, of which Rs.3 crore had been utilised in the first phase.

A bulk of this package is being devoted to updating the library’s online network and resources – a necessity in times when the institution has to transform itself to stay relevant.

Moreover, the KUL has seen its membership rise by 4,758 last year, the majority of them students, research scholars, and teachers who demand access to e-journals and e-books.

It had already procured an extensive collection from the Cambridge University Press, Wiley Online Library, SciFinder, and J-Gate - gateways to e-literature from across the globe.

The KUL is also moving away from Libsys, a library management system, to Koha.

The latter is said to be a more cost-effective open source solution that enables resource sharing between departments of the university.

A workshop on managing the system was held recently, at which suggestions were invited from the library staff.

The Koha solution allows for more features (depending on the requirements of a particular library) to be added.