Home Kerala New library block a boon for visually challenged

New library block a boon for visually challenged

State Central Library to have a Braille section

Members of the State Central Library in the city have much to cheer with the opening of the new heritage model reference block at the library later this week. The new block will have revamped reference sections and a Braille library for the visually challenged. It is also expected to free up space inside the cramped library halls, where the shelves are now all packed close together.

The construction work of the new heritage block began five years back.

The design of the red and white building follows the common design elements of the other major buildings in the stretch, including the existing public library building and the Government Fine Arts College building.

The building will also house the closed reference sections, reference section and browsing centre.

According to State Librarian P.K.Sobhana, the library will now offer a host of options for visually challenged readers, in addition to the Braille library and audiobooks.

“This is the first time that a major library in the State will have a Braille section. Till now, only organisations like the Federation of the Blind had such collections. The National Institute of Visually Handicapped in Dehradun has given us several audiobooks for the collection. We now have around 2,000 fiction books. The Kerala Federation of the Blind has also offered some audiobooks to us.

Tablet computers

There will be tablet computers available in the section using which the visually challenged can listen to newspapers being read out. We also plan to organise a host of activities for the visually challenged,” she said.

The new building will also enable more space to be freed up in the main block, where there is hardly any space now for reading, especially in the English fiction and non-fiction sections. Even same sections are now spread out in different areas, like how the fiction collection from British library and the public library’s own fiction collection are in different places.

“Right now, the shelves are all cramped together in the main hall, with hardly any space for even two people to pass each other. With the shifting of some sections to the new building, considerable space will be opened up here. We plan to have reading facilities in all sections. Right now, we are facing serious staff shortage. So, only the braille section will start functioning as of now. The rest of the shifting will happen with the appointment of new staff,” said Ms. Sobhana.

Public Works Minister G.Sudhakaran will inaugurate the heritage block on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Education Minister C.Ravindranath will preside over.