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4.12 Memorabilia

Ms Sudha S Murthy
Sr. Librarian

The NTI library comes under specialised Health Sciences libraries. Such special causes libraries have been set up for major diseases like TB, cancer and malaria. These libraries assist paramedics, medics, postgraduates, researchers, workers in the field and the government in prevention and control of a particular disease. NTI library was established from the day the institute was setup.

In the beginning, the budget allotment was meager. We were not procuring many books because of paucity of funds. We had to depend on foreign sources. UNICEF and WHO helped in a big way by donating several important documents.

I joined eight years after the NTI was born, in 1967. I must say all the directors have been encouraging the growth and expansion of the library. All our faculty and staff also have the same attitude and I am extremely happy it has been nourished by them. I have started the archival centre here. I have kept first copies of all the protocols, manuals, work instructions, papers and other important documents like WHO quarterly reports and monitoring reports in safe custody. I have also retained so many things which people glance at and throw away: e.g., souvenirs, pamphlets, propaganda material and annual reports. You will never know when, who and why someone needs it. I have found all these have been made use of by somebody. This may be one of the reasons why the NTI library is referred to as something special.

We get trainees from all over India and from different parts of the world. They have varied backgrounds and interests. I make it a point to introduce them to the services available in our library and guide them how to use it efficiently and quickly. After repeated exposure they understand how to access the information efficiently. After their training is over, they come back to tell me: Madam, we never knew that the library had so much information in such an organised fashion. You showed us the way how to access it effectively. When we go back we will improve our own small libraries. It is this sort of gratitude that gives me immense satisfaction.

I also give referral advice to non-professionals or persons from different disciplines. I enquire about their own libraries and guide them on using these. I advise them not to go from library to library seeking information that is available under their own roof. Knowledge of the science of library is not known to most users.

The NTI library is quality based. Even though our budget is limited, we exercise care to get the best quality informative material. Our directors support us in this despite the costs. We also have enough experience in accessing special interest documents pertaining to our field from different libraries. We have inter-library cooperation; using it I have collected more than a thousand rare documents on TB from 1940 onwards. Some of them may not be available anywhere else, even in the national library!

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