SAIIER 2016:Auroville Library

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Panorama of Contemporary Indian Cinema
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Auroville Nature Camp
Auroville Library

About the Auroville Library

The Auroville Library, located on the crown road near the Solar Kitchen, has been in operation for over 25 years now, housing and lending out a wide selection of books. Today it contains more than 35,000 volumes in eight languages - English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Russian and Tamil. All the books are divided up by subject matter into approximately 60 different sections, including a section especially for children. The library is using a professional computer software for cataloguing an organizing the books. The cataloguing of the books follows the international standard of the Dewey Decimal Classification.

In addition to the books, most of which have been donated over the years or purchased (using a relatively small budget which rarely allowed for more than 200 new works a year), the Library also maintains a small number of subscriptions to weekly and monthly Indian and international journals. The latter are laid out for reading in a separate area of the library.

The Library meets the needs of some 500 regular and 250 irregular book borrowers within Auroville, plus an important number of guests and some Auroville workers. On average, at present around 1,900 books are loaned out each month. The catalogue is available for browsing online at

Video collection

We have introduced a collection of high quality movies, mainly art and educative feature films from all over the world. These films (almost 600 already and the collection will be enlarged over the years) are all presented in high definition transfer (HD), a much better quality than the usual DVD we all know, and which will allow you to experience the picture in a format close to the original silver print. The collection has been created for educative purpose for all those who love cinema in its art form and propose to introduce famous classic filmmakers such as Akira Kurosawa, John Ford, Satyajit Ray, Jean Renoir (…) but also contemporary directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Werner Herzog, Majid Majidi, Pedro Almodóvar and many others. It also includes a series of extremely interesting documentaries on various subjects (both in HD and DivX).

Connection to the National Knowledge Network

For the coming year there is a new and unexpected development in process as we are going to be connected to the Internet through a high speed fiber optic cable. A part of the speed connection improvement, the Library will be become eligible for the National Knowledge Network (NKN). It will be also possible to get access to other international databases and programmes (UNESCO, Universities around the world, EU programs and many others).

This development may open a new age for the future of the Auroville Library. We have already ordered 2 browsing stations to start that exploration. This will be developed step by step as a lot of research need be done in order to measure and master this new tool.