The British Council Library - Gateway to greater knowledge

By Maxie Kariyawasam

The refurbished Library at the British Council in Colombo can easily be described as the epitome of Modern Libraries. In fact it has to be seen to be believed. The first thing that strikes you is the ample space available to those who are regular users. The atmosphere too is conducive and one could not be blamed if one was to linger there for a couple of hours even if one's original intention was to spend just an hour or so.

Asoke Ferry and Gil Westaway at a book reading session.
A section of the guests at the refurbished library
These scholarships will be awarded through the various CMA approved Educational Institutes spread throughout the country. Those who are doing self study could contact the CMA office directly.
The ELZ listening session

The Country Director of the British Council Gill Westerway stated "Customer feedback and research indicated that today's youth want to explore what the world has to offer and they want to be inspired by what they discover! This made the British Council Library realise that it needs to gear itself up to help people be successful, be inspired and be quick. Books are still very much a central part of what we do but we have set ourselves the challenge of going beyond books! You can look forward to workshops designed to help you develop the skills you need to be successful in the academic and professional worlds.

The Library facilities available are simply immense and books, videos and DVD's are there on every conceivable subject. To name a few are (1) The Magazines (2) Fiction and Contemporary U.K. Lifestyle, (3) Literature (4) Arts (5) General reference (6) Examinations and lending (7) Sights and sound (8) General English Collection (9) Teachers collection and (10) Exel collection. The British Council can easily lay claim to having one of the finest collection of books available in the island. In fact they live up to their Motto "Enter the World of Information".

The British Council conducts courses in English learning; English for Adults, English for IELTS, Teacher Training and English for young learners and its Library supplements the students following these Courses with vast resources of books, videos and DVD's.

Those following other courses of study too will immensely benefit by patronising the British Council Library. The refurbishment was handled by Yamini Balasubramanium, an interior designer student who was initially taken to India and shown the model used by the British Council Library in Delhi and came back and started on the refurbishment of the Colombo British Council Library using her design and expertise.

This refurbishment would not be possible if not for the dedicated and the positive attitudes of the Library staff who have put in many hours of hard work through the process.

The fact that the Library was not closed even for a day while the refurbishment took place is evidence to their spirit of team work and achievement.

The British Council Library is centrally located at 49, Alfred Houses Gardens, Colombo 03.

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