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Sydenham restores 75% of library gutted in fire a year ago

By January 2, 2018No Comments

Source : Times of India

A year after a major fire gutted the 33-year-old library at the Sydenham Institute of Management StudiesResearch and Entrepreneurship Education(SIMSREE), the institute has managed to restore over 75% of the structure. The library, which will take at least three months to be opened for students, will have an exclusive loft for researchers, a reading area and a radio frequency identification (RFID) system to track books. There will be no electrical wirings inside the renovated library.

On the morning of December 25, 2016, a fire broke out at the library of SIMSREE, one of city’s leading management institutes, and engulfed about 90% of the books stored there. Since the roof was made of asbestos, it was blown off and the fire went upwards and therefore, was contained only in the library. The institute lost about 16,500 books, documents of students, journals and reviews in the fire.

“The institute’s alumni were very forthcoming and have donated about Rs 5 lakh for the books. Almost 90% of the books that were lost in the fire have been procured from various sources. Many of them had started donating books within a week of the fire. The government too was very co-operative in providing sanctions,” said Manoj Bhide, incharge director at the institute.

Professor Rajesh Srivastava said that they have introduced a loft at the centre of the library that will be available exclusively for researchers. “We have also added a reading area below the loft for students. Since we were anyway renovating it, we thought of introducing additional facilities for students,” he said.

The civil works is taking a little longer than usual as it is a government institute and requires multiple sanctions, added the professor.

Over 200 personal documents of students, including birth certificates, leaving certificates and caste certificates were also burnt in the fire. “We had managed to keep a list of all the documents and therefore, we knew exactly what was lost in the fire. We mentioned all these in the police complaint to help students in the smooth procurement of the documents from government agencies,” said Bhide.
The institute is still looking for donors for furniture in the library. “We are hoping to get help from the alumni too. The support that we have managed till now is overwhelming,” added Bhide.
The RFID software will allow open access to students and help the institute keep a track of the books that will be borrowed by students. Though it is not a new technology, it was not in use in their library. The students are currently using the books from the makeshift library in another room on the third floor of the building.



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