<style type="text/css">#cr-slider { display: block; }</style>
Today's Paper Archive Subscriptions RSS Feeds Site Map ePaper Mobile Apps Social

Published: August 10, 2009 00:00 IST | Updated: September 14, 2010 17:13 IST

Treasure trove of books

Share  ·   print   ·   T+  
BOOKWISE Interior of the CMFRI library
BOOKWISE Interior of the CMFRI library

The specialised state-of-the art library of the CMFRI is believed to be the best in South-Asia

Books have always remained dear to us and library a favourite destination. But have you ever heard of a library with state-of-the-art facilities, like digital server, air-conditioned and thousands of books especially on one specific subject? Well, simply step into the specialised library of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

The library boasts of a collection of over one lakh books worth over Rs. 100 crores. It houses rare publications on marine sciences and fisheries from the 18th and 19th century till date. It also has costly foreign publications, over 250 foreign and 300 online journals.

“We have a national treasure with us. There are rare books, expedition reports and journals. The library is the best in South-Asia. We aim to provide a platform for all students and scientists who want to specialise in marine sciences,” informs G. Syda Rao, Director, CMFRI.

Established in 1947, the CMFRI has been carrying out pioneering research and development work in the field of marine capture with Kochi being the headquarters since 1971. The old traditional library took the form of this new library in 2007-08.

“The library is well maintained and updated. An estimate of Rs. 60 lakhs is spent every year. We have almost every book on marine science published in the world. We import books costing up to Rs. 30,000. Among the 250 foreign journals which we have, 50 are subscribed and rest obtained on exchange of our own journals. The postal expenses sometimes come up to Rs. 25,000 a day,” says V. Edwin Joseph, librarian.

The uniqueness of the library is not just in its collection, the technological advancement makes it a exception. The library offers Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) for the public through its site. It offers 311 current periodicals, special collections of ICAR institutes and foreign institutions.

“We have made all the information available through our website. Most of them are for free but for subscribed ones, we provide the username and password or the article when asked. We also have online document delivery through which we send the article on demand. We provide both Indian journals and nearly 300 international journals for free along with the subscribed ones,’ says V. Mohan, assistant librarian.

A major step taken by the library is digitising rare books of the 18th and 19th century. Named as the Digital Repository Project, the authorities are digitising the remarkable collection available only to them. The selected collection includes rare volumes like book on pearl oyster fisheries at the Gulf of Mannar, published by Royal Society, London in 1930, Memoirs of Indian Museum (1913-15), Fauna of Chilka Lake (1920), Madras Fisheries bulletins, Bulletin of Madras Government Museum (1909), The Fishes of India (1958), Fauna and Geography of Maldives and Laccadives archipelago.

The digital repository is expected to be made fully accessible within a few months. Parallel to this they are also digitising CMFRI publications from 1948-2008 which will be accessible soon.

The library charges a monthly subscription of Rs. 30 along with net facility at Rs. 15 per hour for outsiders. “We have college students coming from Bhubaneswar, West Bengal and also professors for reference and research. Among our visitors nearly 10-15 per cent is from outside the state. We are making ourselves well equipped with modern technology, focusing on the coming generation so that all the information will be available to them at one click, which was not there in our time,” concludes Edwin Joseph.


End of Season Sale
Get Upto 40% Off on Allen Solly Limited Period Offer. Hurry Buy Now
SoftLayer® Official Site
More Custom Hosting From A Trusted Source. 24x7 Support. Chat Now.

Printable version | Feb 11, 2014 9:58:37 AM | http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-metroplus/treasure-trove-of-books/article636090.ece


Recent Article in METRO PLUS


To complete Hunger Games series »