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Custodian of Sankara Nethralaya’s knowledge treasure trove wins high acclaim for contribution to his niche field

The 12th of August 2017 was a day of great pride and fulfilment to an institution which had over the years come for praise for making its mark in fields out of its core area. If the NASSCOM awards for ‘Best IT adoption in healthcare sector’ and ‘Best ‘Electronic Medical Record’ came as acknowledgements of its excellent leveraging Information Technology, its unique self sustaining business model won great praise from leading bodies like the American Chamber of Commerce and a high level team of business leaders and students from the Avicenna Leadership Program, Holland, who paid a personal visit to the Sankara Nethralaya main campus for a first hand understanding of the same.

This time it was acknowledgement of its contribution to the field of  ‘Library Science’ by the institution, a valuable contribution made through the long time custodian of  its ‘Medical Library’ the exhaustive literary facility at the institution’s main campus, serving as a  source of knowledge and referral. Shri Shankar Kumar the soft spoken and simple Librarian manning the facility has come under praise several times in the past for his dedication and competence in keeping the decision makers updated of the latest books launched in the various fields branches of basic sciences/life science to ophthalmology and optometry that need to be acquired for the library and his professional assistance to new users in identifying the books they are looking for. A man with a strong passion for his field and a firm belief that the only way to stay well informed and ahead in the field and keep his facility running well would be by continuous acquisition of knowledge and latest trends in the field.

It gives us great pleasure to share with the members of the Sankara Nethralaya family that Shri A.Shankar Kumar was honoured in close succession by two of the nation’s leading associations governing and regulating libraries.  He was bestowed a ‘Certificate of Honour’ and a plaque at the ‘MALA Awards” instituted by the ‘Madras Library Association’ among the oldest and highly prestigious bodies governing the field. The function was held at the IIT-Madras in commemoration of the 125th birth centenary celebration of Padmashree S.R. Ranganathan, well known mathematician and ‘Father of Library Science in India’ on the 12th of August 2017 and was attended by leading publishing houses and dignitaries from Thailand, Netherlands, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The award was presented by Professor Dr.Viswanathan, Former Vice-Chancellor, Anna University in the distinguished presence of Dr. Manorama Srinath, former Professor, Department of Library Science, University of Madras and Professor Parthasarathy (retd).

This was followed by a presentation of a well researched White Paper on a very critical area of Library functioning, titled ‘Information Retrieval System- Sankara Nethralaya Experience’ at the ‘International Conference on ‘Libraries Beyond Borders’ (ICLLB-2017) conducted jointly by the Department of Library Services, Christian Medical College, Vellore and the Library and Information Science Society for Asia and the Pacific’ (LISSAPAC) on the 18th and 19th of August 2017. The white paper was very well received by the attendees and was acknowledged with a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ by the organizers.

Sharing his joy at being recognized by the two leading bodies governing the running of libraries in the nation, a highly moved Shankar Kumar recalled with gratitude that it was Dr. SS.Badrinath and Dr. Vasanthi Badrinath who persuaded him to take up a career in this field and later offered him the position of Librarian at Sankara Nethralaya, when he was serving as a Laboratory Assistant under Dr. Vasanthi Badrinath.  He recalled that he did not have any knowledge on this field or any special fascination for it but they realized his potential and gave him the opportunity to perform and shine in a new field. He had a high word of praise and gratitude for Dr. Muna Bhende, Head of the Library department for her continued guidance and support and Dr Lingam Gopal for his encouragement, he also recalled the encouragement by Dr. Sujal Shah a senior consultant who was serving at the institution during the early days of his career as a Librarian.

Sankara Nethralaya family expresses its Joy and hearty Congratulations to Shri Shankar Kumar on his winning high laurels from the nation’s leading Library governing bodies and wishes him many more years of glorious service and achievements in his field.

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