Today is a proud day in the history of library services in the country. Today is the first day a “University” library is born in the Maldives.
With the long-awaited changeover of the Maldives College of Higher Education (MCHE) to University status on February 15, 2011, the MCHE Library is now known as the Maldives National University Library (MNU Library).
Its branch libraries thus are:
- University Central Library [this is the main library]– (located next to University Central Administration building)
- Health Sciences Library – (within the Faculty of Health Sciences building)
- Business Studies Library – (within the Faculty of Management & Computing Building)
- Maritime Studies Library – (is located in Centre for Maritime Studies)
- Dhivehi Research Library– (as part of the Centre for Dhivehi Language and History)
- Hithadhoo Campus Library – (Seenu Hithadhoo Campus)
- Thinadhoo Campus Library – (Gaaf Dhaal Thinadhoo Campus)
- Kulhudhufushee Campus Library – (Haa Dhaal Kulhudhuffushi Campus)
The MCHE as well as MCHE Library has been making preparations to embrace University status for some years now. The MNU Library may not be world standard in comparison to the most advanced countries. Yet, MNU Library is the largest library in the Maldives; it has branches spread throughout the country; the library offers print as well as online material; the MNU Library employs two of the three Maldivian Degree holders in the field of LIS working in the Maldives; the MNU Library staff takes a leading role in the curriculum design and teaching responsibilities at the Faculty of Arts of the University where the first long-term library course in library studies was initiated in 2010; the MNU Library is the only library in the country to be using a computerized integrated library system for its operations; the MNU library service is specifically for our University community and yet we receive an overwhelming demand from students and staff from private colleges.
We still have a long way to go to be world standard. We need to ensure that all our library staffs have the necessary professional qualification to provide an efficient and value added service. We need to recruit more staff to provide a client-centered service. We need to continuously update our collection to meet the needs of our student and staff community. We need to provide more access to online books in addition to our current online journal databases and print collection. We need to introduce more services like inter-library loan, self loan systems, after hour book returns, and much more. For these, we need a lot more funding.
The MNU Library, with the assistance and support of the management of the Maldives National University, will strive to move forward.
For today, we are happy and proud to be recognized as a University library. And we are proud to be part of the country’s first “University Library Team”, as a part of the Maldives National University.
Take a moment also to read http://mchelib.wordpress.com/2010/04/11/5-years-since-centralisation/ to understand a bit more about how the MNU Library has evolved over the years.