LIBRARIES KNOWLEDGE HOUSES and LIBRARIES IN MYSORE. CITY CENTRAL and CIIL LIBRARY.
LIBRARIES KNOWLEDGE HOUSES….
As children, we have read comic strips and looked at picture books, while in college we have utilised this space for a host of activities from references, discussions, research and planning to catching up with friends. Some people define libraries in terms of a physical space. For some, it is an intellectual space, for some an experience and for others, a community space where interaction takes priority. Libraries are no more just quiet buildings filled with books. No matter how one may describe it, nearly everyone of us has created our own context of what a library should be.
Commonly, libraries are defined as depositories which contain archives of literary, musical, artistic or reference materials such as books, manuscripts, recordings, films and electronic information for use. But libraries are now understood as extending beyond the physical walls of a building. The custodians of history and knowledge, libraries have been in existence for a long period of time. Private or personal libraries first appeared in ancient Greece around the 5th century BC.
Libraries come in varied forms and distinction is made on the primary purpose they serve like school library, research library, academic library, private, public and personal.
Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan was an innovative mathematician and librarian from India. His most notable contributions to the field were his five laws of library science and the development of the first major analytico-synthetic classification system, the Colon classification. He is considered to be the Father of Library Science in India.
Blinded by familiarity, we have perhaps never realized what a fascinating thing the idea of a library really is, how much a part of human history, how essential as caretaker of that history.
In the backdrop of the National Library Week celebrated from Nov. 14 to Nov. 21, this Weekend Star Supplement takes a look at the libraries in Mysore and draws attention to the yeoman service that these institutions offer for the intellectual and personal development of mankind.
LIBRARIES IN MYSORE
Mysore University Library
Mysore University library housed in Manasagangothri is one of the largest University libraries in the country and in particular, the largest of all libraries in Karnataka. Established in 1918, the library has a history of over 78 years. Having started with a small collection of 2,311 volumes, the library today boasts of a resource collection of nearly 9 lakh books in its system. It has membership of over 4000 users including faculty, researchers, office staff and students. It also has a network of libraries called MYLISA (Mysore Librarians & Information Scientists Association).
Famous personalities like Kuvempu, T.S.Shama Rao, B.M. Sreekantaiah, G.S. Shivarudrappa, A.R.Krishnashastri,. T.N.Sreekantaiah and K.M Pannikar have been patrons of this prestigious library.
The library is beautiful and attractive, housed in a building 99,000 sq. ft in area. It uses the Dewey Decimal Classification and is a vast knowledge bank. It comprises of 19 libraries attached to various institutions, study centres, P. G. centres and departments of the University. The most important being * Oriental Research Institute * Institute of Kannada Studies * Institute of Development Studies * Mineralogical Institute * Institute of Correspondence Course and Continuing education * College of Fine Arts * Academic Staff College * University Evening College.
Information resources and library services at Gangotri are segregated into 10 divisions namely:
1. Government Documents 2. Archival and Rare-books
3. Reference 4. Indian and Foreign languages 5. Periodicals 6. Acquisition and Processing 7. Kannada 8. Text – book lending 9. Information Technology (E-mail & CD-ROM workstation) 10. Home lending books.
24 cubicles for researchers, reading halls that can accommodate 500 readers, display and exhibitions, inter-library lending, study carrels in reference division, bibliography of archival materials and reprography are the additional facilities offered by the library.
Apart from the conventional book resource, the library collection comprises 770 current periodicals, 9,500 reference works, 12,000 report literature, 4,500 archives and rare materials, 60,000 Kannada books, 220 maps and Atlas and 400 microfilms.
Special Collections: The library is an ocean of information and has a rich collection of very rare books dating back to the 16th century including records of the Princely State of Mysore, History of Mysore, Indian painting, art, architecture, proceedings of the Constituent Assembly, history, English literature, Sanskrit and Philosophy. The collection also consists of 5000 old and rare books published prior to 1950.
It is worth mentioning that more than 2.3 lakh journal issues and mutilated books have been bound and archived. Books on M.Sc programmes have been catalogued and made available online. The library plans to digitise rare books, important classics and books that are out of print for preservation. The Gangotri library is open to public only for reading and reference, for which the user is required to provide a requisition to the library in-charge. Membership is given to students of the University only.
Study Centres: Open from 8 am to 8 pm, Library: Open from 10 am to 5.30 pm
Contact: Dr.C.P. Ramasesh or Dr. Krishnamurthy – Ph: 2419250
University Graduate Library (Maharaja College Library)
Maharaja College is one of the constituent colleges of the Mysore University, the other being Yuvaraja College. The Mysore University library was initially housed in Maharaja college. In 1965, it was shifted to Manasagangotri. The University Graduate Library in Maharaja’s college caters to the need of academicians and students of both Maharaja and Yuvaraja college. The library has over 3,000 members constituted by the students. Several noted stalwarts like Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Kuvempu, Kengal Hanumantaiah, Dr.V.Doreswamy Iyengar, R.K.Narayan, S.Nijalingappa and R.K.Lakshman have used this library.
The Graduate Library houses more than 1.8 lakh books and other resource collections. The holdings apart from text books include rare books, monographs, reference works, reports, composite works and periodicals. The collections are categorised into the following sections:
*Science and Technology * Linguistics and Literature (Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi) * Kannada Literature and subject books * History and Geography * Social Sciences and Humanities * Reference Works * Book Bank for SC/ST students * General Studies.
The IT/digital services for teachers and academic researchers in the Graduate Library are being extended from the main University library in Manasagangotri.
Oriental Research Institute
The Oriental Research Institute (ORI) was established by the Maharaja of the erstwhile state of Mysore, Chamaraja Wodeyar in 1891. The institute was set up under the name ‘Government Oriental Library’, for the purpose of collection and preservation of important manuscripts and publication of rare valuable works. It was the first public library in Mysore city for research and editing of manuscripts and is an integral part of the Mysore University.
ORI is fully devoted to the collection, preservation, study and publication of rare palm-leaf and paper manuscripts with special emphasis on Sanskrit works. It is affiliated to Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) headquartered in Delhi.
The library has around 160 bundles comprising of over 16,000 works in palm-leaf and 150 bundles with around 400 works were recently acquired. It also archives around 8000 paper manuscripts. ‘Lilavathi’, a collection of mathematical sums in verses, ‘Ashvavaidyam’, treatment of diseases in horses, ‘Suryasiddhanta’, calculation of rotation of celestial bodies, ‘Kashyapasamhita’, treatment for poisonous reptile bites and ‘Gajayurved’, therapy for diseases in elephants, are some of the rare scientific manuscripts collection in ORI. Some manuscripts have been published and many are now available on the Internet to aid researchers and knowledge seekers. Over 3000 palm-leaf manuscripts have been digitised into micro films for preservation and archival.
Apart from the manuscripts, the well stocked library has a rich collection of around 35,000 very rare books and documents. It follows a systematic order to allow easy access to these important works which bring forth literature, language, philosophy, astrology and religious practices. One of the important works in the Sanskrit series is ‘Arthashastra’, the manuscript of which was discovered and edited in 1908 for the first time by Dr. Shamashastry of ORI.
The library at ORI is open to general public for reading and reference. There is a special reading room which public can utilise. However, membership is limited to literary persons and researchers only.
Contact: Ramapriya, Librarian , Ph : 2420331
CITY CENTRAL LIBRARY
The City Central Library is a 92-year-old treasure house which has served as a ‘Bodhi’ tree for hundreds of knowledge seekers. The Library situated on Sayyaji Rao road houses a collection of over 55,000 rare books. It keeps adding new books every year with the Octroi funds of Rs 3,43,000 which it gets from the State Government and 6 per cent Library Cess from MCC, which is about Rs. 80 to 85 lakhs.
Established in 1915 during the reign of Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, it was handed over to the Government during 1965, when the Public Library Act was passed. Presently, the library has 8 Branches,11 Service Stations, 3 Reading Rooms and a Mobile Library. In total, it has over 4,41,977 books and 37,673 members. A Competitive Examination Centre was added to the library in 2005-06.
At least a 1000 people visit the library every day. It gets three copies of 10 Kannada newspapers, 9 English newspapers, 7 other language news papers, 22 weeklies, 4 fortnightlies, 13 Kannada and 15 English monthly magazines and news papers. A total of 80 magazines and newspapers in the main branch and 905 compiled. But it is unfortunate that few tear important pages, some steal and many disappear after borrowing such a rare book.
One can become a member at the City Central Library by paying Rs 25, Rs 30, Rs 40 to borrow 1, 2 and 3 books respectively. The same card holds good to borrow books from the branches, service stations and mobile library.
R. Chandrappa, Chief Librarian says “The present library is centrally located and easily accessible to all. But the building is old with cracks which cannot be easily renovated as it is a heritage building built with rare materials. It is difficult to computerise the library. We are not able to put up the proposed CCTV to prevent public stealing or tearing from books in the library, about which a resolution has been passed in the City Library Authority. We have also not been able to install the touch screen information kiosk which has been provided by Department of Central Libraries as it easily catches dust”.
“There has been a proposal for a new Shalivahana City Central Library with the plan done by expert architects. It was proposed to be put up at People’s Park but that is surrounded by controversies. Though the matter has been cleared in the court, it is yet to get government’s nod”, he adds.
District Central Library
The District Central Library is the apex and administrative office for all Govt. libraries in Mysore District. Located on Shankar Mutt Road in Fort Mohalla, the District Central Library is managed by Chief Librarian K.Venkatesh. The District Library undertakes supervision, maintenance, provision of newspapers and other activities of all libraries in the district and functions through agents at the taluk and area level.
Mysore district has under its jurisdiction Mysore City, Nanjangud, K.R.Nagar, H.D.Kote, Periyapatna, T.Narasipur and Hunsur Taluks, with library branches in every taluk. There are 238 Gram Panchayat libraries bringing the total libraries in the entire Mysore District to 244. There are approximately 3,00,000 books in the 244 libraries across the district, covering every subject including academics, art, literature, history and culture.
Sri Ranga Mahiti Kendra
The brainchild of noted theatre personality B.V.Karanth, the library in Rangayana is one of the best in theatre in South India. Karanth wished that all artistes should be well educated and knowledgeable and started by helping artistes develop personal libraries. Today, almost every artiste has his own personal library at home. Karanth greatly contributed by gifting everyone a book for festivals and whenever he returned from a travel.
When Karanth felt the need for a library in Rangayana, he made personal requests to famous theatre personalities to contribute theatre related books. From history to Kannada literature and theatre, books started to come in large numbers. While in America, Karanth made an open request for financial contribution with the Indian theatre lovers residing there. With the amount collected in dollars, he bought many books on theatre backstage (lighting, costume designing, mask making etc.) for the library.
The Rangayana library was officially inaugurated by noted writer Ha. Ma. Nayak in 1991. After Prasanna took over as Director, more collections in folklore and literature were added. The library was soon named ‘Sri Ranga Mahiti Kendra’, as a tribute to the veteran theatre person Sri Ranga, who made invaluable contribution to theatre in Karnataka.
Sri Ranga Mahiti Kendra has about 11,000 books on varied subjects ranging from theatre, theatre backstage, history, folklore, religion, poetry and science to autobiographies. In its special collection, the library has archived articles and reviews published in magazines and newspapers related to drama and theatre and materials on the developments in theatre from over 25 years. The library is a treasure trove for theatre lovers. It has archives and photographs of all theatre productions made by the repertory. The most important among the collection are the theatre related postures, which give abundant information about plays staged all over the world and in numerous Indian and foreign languages.
Manjunath Belakere from Rangayana says “anyone interested in doing a Ph.D in theatre should definitely consult Rangayana. There is so much that one can learn from this place, that the information would more than suffice for a Ph.D and the library would provide all reading material required.”
The library is open for public reading and reference. Irrespective of the age and profession, anyone interested in theatre can take up membership here for a nominal fee of Rs.500. The library also has a audio-visual section where Karanth’s old music and drama related songs can be heard. On request, plays would also be screened on the visual system.
Note: Sri Ranga Mahiti Kendra is currently under renovation and is likely to re-open in Jan. 2008
Contact : Tara Saraswathi, Deputy Director, Rangayana Ph: 2512629/39
The library at Ramakrishna Institute for Moral and Spiritual Education (RIMSE) was started in 1974. Today, it has a huge collection of about 28,450 books. This is a fully comput-erised special research library and has books on philosophy, religion, social science, applied science, art and literature apart from year books and general books. This is probably one of the few libraries which provides reading material in Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, English, Tamil, Sanskrit and other languages. The library follows the Dewey Decimal Classification and Open Shelf System.
The RIMSE library’s special collection comprises yoga books, books on Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Sharada Devi, Ramana Maharshi and other spiritual gurus. Among the priced collection are ‘Bhagwan Veda’ which is a compilation of all the four vedas, the original copy of the Sikh Guru Granth Saheb, 40 volumes of Rigveda Samhita, various books on vedas and puranas published by Jayachamaraja Wadiyar and 29 volumes on Sri Aurobindo.
For those interested in spirituality, RISME is a resource centre for reading material and information. The library is open to public and school children for reading and reference only and is open from 8 am to 4.30 pm everyday. However, public membership is available at Ramakrishna Ashram in Yadavagiri.
Contact: The Correspondent or M.K.Suresh – Librarian
RIMSE – Ph: 2417666
City Central Library
1. Kuvempunagar Vishwamanava Double Road
2. Saraswathipuram Thengina Thopu
3. Lakshmipuram Narayan Shasthri road
4. Jayalakshmipuram V.V Mohalla
5. Ashokapuram Ambedkar Park
6. Siddharthanagar Vyragya Maarga Road
7. Gandhinagar Ramamandira
8. P. K. Sanitarium KRS Road
SERVICE CENTRES LOCATION
1. Central Jail City Central jail
2. KSRP Jockey Guest house near ATI
3. Viswesvaranagar Subramanya Temple Road
4. Chamarajpuram Chamarajpuram
5. Basaveswara Road Bandikeri
6. City Armed Reserve Force Near Race Course
7. Vidyaranyapuram Nimishamba Sthree Shakthi
8. Hebbal Near State Bank of India
9. Jayanagar Near Health Centre
10. District Armed Reserve Force Jyothinagar
11. Anjuman Saade road
READING ROOMS LOCATION
1. Sthree Shakthi Mahile Vedike Ramanuja Road
2. Cheluvamba Hospital Hospital premises
3. Kannada Sahithya Parishat Vijayanagar
— ASN & SP
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