Dr. Sainul Abideen-2
-Indulekha M S
“This library is my brainchild. I was involved from the start and had to put one piece at a time and build it. I will always have that attachment to this library.”
While IISER was functioning from the CET campus, the library had to be shifted multiple times: “We had to shift it within CET and then to the current campus. Managing the library during IISER's transition from the CET campus to the current Vithura campus was a challenging task. As students were gradually relocated, the library had to be shifted in stages and operated from both campuses. This required a significant effort, including daily shuttling of books between the two sites."
At IISER, Dr. Sainul himself conceptualized and started the library from the ground up. From the inception of the library, it was decided that the focus would be more on digital resources for the students. The central library has an extensive collection of digital resources, academic books, journals, databases and research support tools. The first online subscription was for Nature publications, and since then, the library has continued to grow its collection.
He also introduced cutting-edge technologies by creating a fully automated library with RFID-equipped self-service kiosks, which placed the library among the select few in India to have such advanced features, QR code-based mobile library service, and remote access to all online resources.
Over the years, Dr. Sainul has also trained many budding library professional trainees. “I train them in such a way that they are familiar with all aspects of managing a modern library, and not just a few. I am proud to say that most of the trainees that I have trained have gone on to become librarians in prestigious institutions like IIT-Tirupati, Banaras Hindu University, Central University of Tripura, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, IMCR, IISER, ISRO, CSIR, NIT and such. I always tell my trainees that our primary duty as library professionals is to serve the users. We are here to ensure that all requested services and resources are made available to the students.”
The central library of IISER, Thiruvananthapuram now functions from a temporary building. In the future, he hopes to expand the library to a more elaborate space with an extended physical library.