A magnificent library is born in the heart of the city. Basement plus seven floors including three raised floors covered with translucent glass, escalators, free Wi-Fi, cafeteria, fully air-conditioned system, 2.57 lakh book collection, conference room, surveillance cameras, a roof garden to read books in kind light, a dedicated section on the ground floor for the comfort of people with reduced mobility and the possibility of parking 100 cars and 200 two-wheelers will make it stand out and one of a kind.
Chief Minister MK Stalin said on June 3, 2021 that a library will be built in Madurai in the footsteps of his father Mr. Karunanidhi who established Anna Centenary Library in Chennai. This Muthamizh Arignar Kalaignar Memorial Library in Madurai should also be a boon to all readers including those preparing for entrance exams or competitive examinations, scholars and literati from southern districts.
Public Works Department authorities reduced a 2.79-acre site after considering more than half a dozen places to build this library. However, the location ultimately chosen – the century-old PWD/Water Resources Organization engineers’ residential quarters on New Natham Road – sparked controversy as a farmers’ association believed it to be the location where Colonel John Pennycuick, the he British engineer who built the Mullaiperiyar Dam, had resided. The authorities proved that the old building was indeed built between 1912 and 1915, a year after the colonel’s disappearance in 1911.
Works therefore began last month with the state government sanctioning ₹99 crore for construction activities, ₹10 crore for the purchase of books and ₹5 crore for the purchase of electronic equipment. Significantly, only 11 trees were uprooted while 30 out of 51 trees were transplanted to different locations on the same campus to preserve vegetation cover there.
K P. Sathiyamurthy, Superintendent Engineer, PWD, Buildings (Construction & Maintenance), Madurai Circle, said The Hindu that the work was accelerated without any compromise on the quality of construction so that the mega library would be ready for operation before the end of this year. In fact, a team of quality control engineers monitors the work, which takes place 24 hours a day, every day. He asserted that the building style is an ideal choice of field study for civil engineering students.
A knowledge center
Books on a multitude of subjects ranging from general knowledge to engineering, medicine, law, travelogues, biographies, autobiographies, periodicals, magazines and 12,000 rare books will be made available in addition to Braille books and the digital studio for the visually and hearing impaired. People with Disabilities.
The open-access digital information system will allow readers to choose a book in a fraction of a second. Halls for 27 sections in addition to Children’s Theater, Performance Center, Reprography, Microfilm and Microfiche are being created. But there is no room for any kind of mischief as CCTV cameras will roll and monitor everyone’s movements in the library.
Students can bring their textbooks while others can bring their own books to study in the comfort of a calm and cool atmosphere. They can also bring food and continue their studies since a changing room and a dining room would be built. Online study is also possible.
Job applicants can have fun with 30,000 books, an audio and video system in the contest section. Tamil literature enthusiasts can select one from 63,000 books while English book readers can browse over 96,000 books (63,000 books for loan and 33,000 for reference). With 20,000 books to be stored also in the children’s section, the library, spread over 2.04 lakh square feet, will be a storehouse of knowledge, but it is up to the residents to make good use of this institution.