KU Library embraces automation

The security gate that has been installed at the Kerala University Library to prevent thefts and unauthorised movement of books.  

Kerala University Library, the oldest university library in the state, has ushered in an automated management system.

Established in 1942 during the pre-independence era, the library has evolved into a digitalised facility replete with radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, self check-in/out stations and smart cards that encompass its collection of 3.6 lakh titles.

The RFID-enabled library services, implemented at a cost of ₹70 lakh, is bound to enable efficient circulation of books.

According to assistant librarian (selection grade) P.K. Suresh Kumar, the tags can be easily scanned using handheld readers and will also enable locating misplaced books. A security gate system that has also been put in place is meant to detect unauthorised RFID-tagged books with a read range of 90cm and is equipped with an inbuilt alert system to prevent thefts. RFID chip-based smart cards will also be issued to all library members.

Yet another feature of the automation is the self check-in and out station (or drop box) that has been installed at the library entrance. Library members will be able to return books at anytime of the day through the facility. While such books go to a bin, the users are issued receipts that record the date and time of return, number of books and overdue amount.

Touch-screen information kiosks have also been introduced to enable users to search the status of books and trace their location. The university has a networked library system comprising of the Central Library (or Kerala University Library) in Palayam, Campus Library in Karyavattom, and 43 teaching department libraries and three regional study centre libraries with a total stock of 9,55,731 books, rare documents, theses, bound volumes of periodical and newspapers, government publications, journals and others.

Dr. Kumar said the library also has a ₹30-lakh resource centre for visually challenged users, including senior citizens, with assistive technologies that can convert text into speech.

The centre is equipped with modern computers, smartphones, Digital Braille devices and reprographic reproduction scanners.

Digital repository

The university has also operationalised a digital repository of 20 lakh pages of rare and old books, periodicals and grey literature hosted in open source digital library Dspace at a cost of ₹50 lakh.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 7:26:39 PM |

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