MSSRF organises knowledge exchange visit to public libraries in Kerala
Indian Public Library Movement’s (IPLM) partners the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and the P N Panicker Foundation (PNPF) organised a knowledge exchange visit to three public libraries in Kerala. On 06 – 08 February, 2017, MSSRF organised the first convening for its INELI India Cohort – 2 at Poovar Island, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The event saw participation of more than 20 public librarians from various parts of India.
On 07th February, 2017, Shri N Balagopal, Vice-Chairman, P N Panicker Foundation delivered an inspiring address to the audience. He emphasised the need for repositioning public libraries in India and highlighted the activities being undertaken by PNPF by 18 public libraries that the Foundation is working on.
Dr. Basheerhamad Shadrach highlighted the relevance of IPLM in today’s context. He spoke about the lack of vision and innovative thinking at the various levels. He mentioned that the public librarians have a huge role to play in facilitating knowledge among the masses.
Speaking about the initiatives being taken up by IPLM, Dr. Vignesh Sornamohan, Head – New Services & Knowledge Management highlighted that IPLM is a collective platform of the partners, public librarians, library staff and the general masses. He mentioned that IPLM is focusing on Research, Training and Capacity Building, Innovative Services, Knowledge Management, etc. He briefly touched upon the new services being introduced in the public libraries like Demonstration of Organic Farming, Spoken English Courses, School Education Tutoring eContent, Digital Library Access, Banking Services, Telehealth Services, etc.
After the briefing session at the venue, the participants were taken to the knowledge exchange visit to three public libraries namely Jai Christ Library, Adimalathura; Avittam Thirunal Grandhasala, Attukkal; and the State Central Library, Palayam, Thiruvananthapuram. The participants were introduced to three different set of libraries. The Jai Christ Library is a volunteer women run library. The volunteers run the library more smoothly and delivering the services like Online Public Access Catalogue, Digital Library, Internet Access, Printing & Photocopying, Basic Diagnostics, Book Issuing, Newspaper Reading, etc. The Avittam Thirunal Library is an unique entrepreneurial library. The library boasts of an auditorium, community hall, dining hall, bank, and a temple. The library earns income from the community hall and temple, which is being used to sustain the library for the community. The library has a rare collection reference section, book reading section, newspaper reading room, skill development centre and a dance practice hall. The State Central Library issues more than 2,000 books on weekdays and 3,000 books on a weekend, which is higher than the National Library of India.
The participants especially the public librarians felt very humbled and motivated to see all the three public libraries. They appreciated the activities being done by P N Panicker Foundation and expressed their willingness to support these libraries in any possible ways.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.