On the first of June, I had the opportunity to visit two of the largest reference libraries in our city- The Connemara Library and the Anna Centenary Library.
We started our trip to the library at around 9 am and reached the Connemara Library by 11 am. After we received the membership for this one, we went to the Anna Centenary Library at around 12:30. After a short visit to the floors that I was particularly interested in, we continued on our way home.
For both the libraries, we were asked to hand in our bags and stuff, but we were allowed to carry our important belongings.
Inside the Connemara Library:-
Located at Egmore, Chennai; the library has around 4 floors which contain a lot of references in almost every Indian Language. It is recognized as one of the four National Depository Libraries which receive a copy of all books, newspapers and periodicals published in India. A repository of centuries-old publications, wherein lies some of the most respected works and collections in the country, is present here. The Library, along with its museum, is mainly noted for holding all forms of information related to Madras Society. It is open on all days from 8 AM to 8 PM
My experience inside the Library:-
After we handed our bags outside to security, we explored all the four floors but spent a little more time in the English section. I started to take out some philosophy books which were dated as “printed in 1965” and had a great read from them.
Inside the Anna Centenary Library:-
The Library was built by Late Chief Minister (2010) of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi. The name of this library comes from another former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, C.N. Annadhurai. It is also known to be a library which does not offer any membership and is free for public use. The library is open on all days from 9 AM to 8 PM.
The Library is divided into the following sections:-
- Braille Section- Located on the ground floor, the Braille section has a complete set of books for the blind to read.
- Own Book Reading Section- On the first floor, you are allowed to bring your own books and read them with ease.
- Periodicals Section (First Floor ‘A’ wing)- Journals, Newspapers and Magazines can be found in this section, which are up to date with every detail depending on your subject of interest.
- Children’s Section- It is located on the first floor ‘B’ wing and holds a collection of a lot of children’s books. A majority of the books are in English, but there are encyclopedias and references in other Indian languages also.
- Tamil Books Section- This section is mainly dedicated to almost all the Tamil Books that have been printed. It is located on the Second floor.
- English Books- Depending on the particular subject of study, English books can be found from the Third floor to the Seventh floor.
- Third Floor- General, Computer Science, Library & Information Science, Philosophy, Psychology, Ethics, Religion, Sociology, Statistics, Political science.
- Fourth Floor- Economics, Law, Public Administration, Education, Languages & Linguistics, Literature, Folklore.
- Fifth Floor- General Science, Mathematics, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Earth science & Geology, Fossils & prehistoric life, Life science ( Biology), Plants ( Botany ), Animals ( Zoology), •Applied Science – Basic, Medicine & Health
- Sixth Floor- Engineering, Agriculture, Home & Family management, Veterinary Science, Management & Public Relation, Accounting, Fine Arts, Architecture, Photography & Computer Arts, Music, Sports, Games & Entertainment.
- Seventh Floor- History, Geography, Travel, Biography, e-library, Government Oriental Manuscript Library.
- The Eight floor is the administrative office, which is where the management of the library lies. Inquires can be made and clarified there.
My experience inside the Library-
This library has desks and chairs as that of a research centre. You are allowed to bring your laptops inside the library for your research purposes. There were a lot of people referring to books for their projects and studies, and some were even typing away in their laptops; giving the impression that they were already in their own world. I had visited the fourth and fifth floors in particular, as they were my main subjects of interest. Each shelf had an alphabetical catalogue based on Language, Genre and Alphabetical Compilation.
*Part two will be uploaded soon with more thought and a key conclusion, so stay tuned…