Periyar University in the Indian State Tamil Nadu will soon join the select band of higher education centres with a digitised library. This knowledge bank will ensure its students and researchers latest information on a variety of subjects through the University Grants Commission's (UGC)-Infonet connectivity. As a part of the efforts to set up a `digital library,' the university has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Information and Library Network (INFLIBNET) Centre, UGC and ERNET for getting the UGC-Infonet connectivity, which would use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Internet to provide resources to the students.
The UGC-Infonet connectivity will help promote communication among academicians and researchers from this area. It would serve as a major resource for the researchers and scholars for tapping the up-to-date information. It will also help the students to access more than 2,600 e-journals on various subjects. The objective of getting the UGC-Infonet and establishing a digital library is to enhance the higher education and research programmes with the current and retrospective information with the support of latest technology. The connectivity will be established shortly.
The digital library has the potential to store more information than the traditional libraries. The resources of the digital library can easily be read by more number of people. In the first phase, the university has allotted Rs. 5 lakh to establish the digital library, particularly for subscription to the online journals and databases. Another Rs. 2.25 lakh has been allotted to purchase computers and digital copier for the library. In the second phase, it is being planned to digitise the university theses and dissertations. The Periyar University also proposes to establish facilities enabling the students in the affiliated colleges to access the database of the digital library through the Internet. Its traditional library however has 22,000 books and subscribing to 147 national and international journals.