Ernakulam Public Library in expansion mode

Giving in to long-standing demand of the researchers and scholars, the Ernakulam Public Library has proposed a bigger reference room with better facilities in its new building complex proposed as part of the year-long sesquicentennial celebrations set to get under way next year.

A reference library spread over 3,600 sq.ft on the second floor will be one of the stand-out features of the five-storied new building. Besides, there will be separate cubicles for researchers and scholars with Internet facility.

“We are bombarded with requests for improved reference facilities almost on a daily basis. Those using the reference room also need to bring in and refer their own materials, which is not permissible at present owing to our constraints. That issue will be addressed once the new reference library is set up,” said Priya K. Peter, librarian.

The proposed new building with a built-up area of nearly 50,000 sq.ft is expected to give a much needed facelift to the more than a century-old library.

A library area of 10,000 sq.ft, a reading room of 3,000 sq.ft, an auditorium with the seating capacity for 300, mini theatre with a capacity for 250, a conference hall spread over 2,200 sq.ft, basement parking of 7,167 sq.ft, an art gallery, children’s section and cafeteria are among the other facilities planned.

The library hopes to raise the ₹12 crore needed for the project from multiple sources, including donations from public sector units, MLA and MP funds, State government, the Kolkata-based Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, apart from the generous contributions of its nearly 11,000 members.

Once the new building complex is ready, the library would be able to better utilise technology in the operations of the library.

"For instance, a book dropping station, which is now placed inside the library owing to the constraints of the old building, could be strategically placed outside so that members would be able to return book even after the library hours.

“We already plan to introduce it as part of our operations at Infopark,” said Ms. Peter.

The library also plans to undertake a membership campaign as part of the celebrations with a target of almost doubling its members from the existing 10,700. Founded in 1870, the library boasts over 1.5 lakh books with an average of 450 titles added to that list every month.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 7:25:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ernakulam-public-library-in-expansion-mode/article28816849.ece

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