Ernakulam Public Library goes online to woo readers

For many, the inconvenience of frequent drop-ins to renew and reserve books is perhaps the biggest put-off about libraries.

The Ernakulam Public Library, one of the oldest in the State with a legacy of more than 140 years, has embraced the online route to tackle this shortcoming as part of its modernisation drive.

Now, members of the Ernakulam Public Library can renewtheir books online.

Now, the more than 10,000 members of the library can renew the books twice up to six weeks over online. “We have given them user ID and passwords using which they can log in the site opac.ernakulampubliclibrary.com. They can also reserve their favourite titles, browse through the catalogue of books, and make suggestions on preferred titles,” said librarian V.G. Ramachandran.

Children’s section

The children’s section of the library is set to get a reading space with a fitting ambience to suit the taste of young readers. Out of the 20,000-odd books in the section, the outdated ones would be replaced with the latest titles in English and Malayalam. A new reference corner, especially for those eyeing civil service, would also come up shortly.

The library has grand plans for digitalisation whereby books, the authors of which have passed away more than 65 years back and therefore beyond the provisions of the copy right, would be made available on the digital platform. This would bring world classics and numerous major works to the personal digital devices of members.

Plans are also afoot to introduce RFID (radio frequency identification) library management system. Mr. Ramachandran declined to divulge details stating that the project was still before the library committee. However, the system when introduced is likely to facilitate high speed inventory and easy identification of books placed out of order. It is learned that the library committee is also considering a scaled up infrastructure complete with an art gallery.

The library has witnessed a spike in membership of late, with over 1,500 new members getting registered this year. At present, four categories of memberships are being offered with the life membership fee of Rs. 7,010 payable in three instalments.

Source- thehindu