Do we need another library in Kochi?

Hello everyone,

After being teased by everyone that I have enough books to start a library, I was thinking of putting this idea into action. But the question is, are there enough booklovers in Kochi? Are the present libraries more than eough for Kochiites? Will I be swatting flies, Kochi mosquitoes and what-nots if I carry out this project? As a dedicated Kochiite, I would really like your opinion.

Also if you have enough time and would love to help this fellow citizen, please answer these questions.

  1. What all things do you look for in a good library?
  2. How many books would you like to borrow at a time?
  3. How much are you willing to pay as membership fee?
  4. Which day should the library have as a holiday?
  5. Where would you like your library to be- in the city, or a quieter place?
  6. Which genres do you read the most?
  7. Any other suggestions, comments?

Thanks in advance!! Have a nice day!

9 Comments

  • I am member of Eloor. There we have membership fee and 10% per book for 2 weeks after which we need to pay extra. I find that place catering to most normal readers both for English and Malayalam with lots of children specific books too. I am not familiar with EPL, but heard that its huge, but membership plans are bit expensive.
    Unless new venture has some kind of added benefit, twist or feature, I believe it wont stand a chance accounting to less demand for books these days.
    One thing i find lacking in these libraries are technical books, but then Mindstorm fills that gap well i blv.
    May be a social library where people with books can trace, barter or share them can be a new thing. I am not sure about the business viability of that though. I blv children make bookshops a success, atleast in my childhood days, so try catering them extensively and have an early bird membership drive with parents 😉

    • Thank you so much for the advice Juwal Bose. Yes, children are the biggest hope if I want to go forward with the project. I wonder why people do not read that much nowadays 🙁

  • I think we need a new-age library. I have been personally toying with this idea for sometime now . . . 🙂 Is it possible for us to get in touch on email?

    I would like to share my idea with you and see wht we can do together! Looking forward to hear from you!

  • @ezhuthukari new age youth have other options for entertainment as airtel says they have no patience. and to make things worse we make online games for them 😉 (just kidding)

  • Kochi is a land of bibliophiles as is proved by resounding successes of successive International Book Festivals and the resurgence of Ernakulam Public Library. As a member of both Eloor Lending Library and Ernakulam Public Library, I have not visited Eloor library in at least 3 years due to their charging rates of 10% per book and steep late fines. In Ernakulam Public Library one has to pay 120 rs per quarter for a drawing scheme of two books per person ( which I follow) but which I find more economical in the long run because there is no fees for keeping the book for 14 days and the late fees is also quite affordable. EPL regularly buys new books and its dedicated staff are quite reader friendly and take into account reader preferences. Recently EPL has received a very good facelift and it is no longer a realm of long corridors of musty books.

    If a library is being started try to keep the onus on quarterly or annual subscriptions rather than charging per book.

  • It would be quite lovely to have a good library in Kochi! Especially a new generation one, provided you have a large funding and a non profit angle. Because if you have a profit motive, a library can never really succeed, and end up having merely the popular books. i could jot down a few things i would love to see in a library though, while answering a few of your questions…

    1. No per book charge, rather a monthly/quarterly/yearly subscription
    2. A cozy reading area – coffee/tea available (self service) which is affordable, carpets and cushions, as well as chairs and desks, well lit – so people can sit down and lounge, or sit straight and work
    3. Quiet location – perhaps a little outside the city, but on a main route (like the Aluva-Ekm NH stretch) so that its easily accessible – no music or very soft instrumental music
    4. A garden or park around would make it amazing!
    5. All sorts of books – light reading, fiction, factual, technical, reference, magazines, journals
    6. Perhaps an advisory committee – composed of teachers from all fields, students, and general public – perhaps even a voluntary one – which has to keep recommending and buying books
    7. Readers can request for books – most requests should be met and soon
    8. Wireless internet and maybe a couple of computers for quick reference – bring your own laptop if you want to refer for a longer time
    9. Mobiles, laptops and everything on silent mode. And a special area where all sorts of electronics have to be surrendered before entering – to relax without much radiation
    10. Could have several subscription plans – number of books that can be lent out at a time can depend on that. A cheap student plan too.
    11. An online catalogue where people can search, and see the status of a book in the library
    12. Movies and audio as well, if possible

    The library can be more than just a library. It can have clubs – reading club, kids club, movie club, music club – and these clubs can do various things – like book readings for children, movie screenings, music sharing, jamming sessions etc.

    You could start it in conjunction with some educational institutions, CSR wings of companies, etc.

    i would love to help on a “what a reader would like” basis if you are going ahead with this project. Mail me [coolmohan AT gmail DOT com]

    All the best, and do let us know if you start the library!