THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The debate about whether or not the Internet is killing reading is something that has dominated cultural discussions on the Net in our newspapers and intellectual circles, of late.
And if you are one among those who is of the opinion that the biggest threat to the pastime of reading is the Internet, a 66-year-old library on the outskirts of the city will force you to reconsider your assumptions.
Pay a visit to the SNV Library at Peringamala in Kalliyoor, which has admirably come up with an antithesis that the World Wide Web makes many more avenues available for those who have a love for books and reading!
After the successful launch of an online catalogue and booking system, the library is now planning the second phase - home delivery of books at the doorsteps of members in a bid to attract more readers to its intellectual treasure.
‘’The website was a shot in the arm for the library. We could attract many new readers who found the new system more handy and time-saving for the literarily inclined,’’ says Shajan, librarian.
www.snvlibrary.in offers two types of catalogue searches for the members to select from a huge list of 17,000 books. They can choose their book through a search either by the name of the author or by title.
The list also displays the ID number of the book which the member could easily mail to the librarian. The SNV library was the first library under the State Library Council to launch an online booking facility for members.
‘’The members can know whether the book is available and also book them through the facility. School and college students make the most out of the facility,’’ Shajan said.
The library has several rare books which attract researchers. ‘’The online facility is helping researchers from far off places too. We often receive e-mail queries on the availability of some rare books. All the queries are promptly responded to,’’ Shajan said.
The clean racks and neat display of books would impress any booklover who visits the library.
The current membership of 2,200 would witness a spurt with the launch of the home delivery system, feels Shajan.
‘’The facility will be of great help to women who find it difficult to visit the library amidst household chores,’’ he said.
The library, which successfully runs a host of programmes for the overall development of the locality, is a model of sorts for its counterparts in the state.
Balavedi, a forum for children; a skill development centre; arts and sports club and a continuing education centre are part of the library.
A sub-centre of the Public Health Centre also functions in the two-storeyed library building.
The library is one of the 64 taluk reference libraries selected by the State Library Council. It is also the only one of its kind to have an NGO membership with the Central Planning Commission.
It has won several
coveted honours during its decades-long seminal service.
Latest among them being the award for the best library in the district and taluk levels, instituted by the Library Council, for the year 2011.
S S Sajeev is the president and G Pushparajan the secretary of the library.