`e-Granary Digital Library' launched

FIRST OF ITS KIND: Cliff Missen from Iowa University, USA, seen along with P. Maruthamuthu, Vice-Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University, T. Karunakaran, Vice-Chancellor of Gandhigram Rural Institute (third from right), and N. Sethuraman, founder-ch airman of Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, at the launch of `e-Granary Digital Library' in Madurai on Friday. Photo: S. JAMES  

Staff Reporter

Thanks to Madurai hospital 's tie-up with Iowa University

MADURAI: In an attempt to bridge the digital divide, the Iowa University in the U.S., in collaboration with Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre (MMHRC) here, has launched a first of its kind `e-Granary Digital Library' on Friday.

The digital library has a capacity to store 3 million documents in 250 giga bytes of space containing web sites, books, journals and publications for the benefit of rural students who do not have access to Internet.

Two university Vice-Chancellors, P. Maruthamuthu of Madurai Kamaraj University and T. Karunakaran of Gandhigram Deemed University, participated in the launch function and appreciated the work done by scientists of Iowa University to take the `granary' close to villagers.

Colossal content

Speaking at the function, Cliff Missen from the Development Support Communication and Journalism wing of Iowa University, said the content in the e-Granary digital library is equal to a collection of journals/publications in a 10-storey library.

The e-Granary, in the form of a disk, is the result of transfer of technology developed after taking permission from content providers and authors.

According to Dr.Missen, the digital library will not require an Internet connection or a telephone line but has to be only connected to a computer to access the information.

He also announced that old computers from their university would be provided to rural students in Tamil Nadu.

Speaking about the latest form of library, N. Sethuraman, Founder-Chairman, MMHRC, said the initiative would help in making the most of electronic revolution and the power of Information Technology could be tapped.

The two Vice-Chancellors acknowledged the importance of the digital library and said their universities would support it.

Thomas M. Cook, faculty in Human Factors Engineering and Veronica Nixon from Department of Geography, were among those who spoke.

V.N. Rajasekaran, Medical Director of the hospital, welcomed the gathering.