About Our Library
The University of Colombo library system consists of the Central Library and faculty libraries. The Library, Faculty of Medicine is at Kynsey Road and the Library, Faculty of Science is at Thurstan Road.
The Central Library is situated in a five storied building between the Law Faculty Building Complex and the Arts Faculty Building Complex. The library contains books and periodicals in Humanities, Education, Law, Management, and Social Sciences. The main entrance to the library is facing the Reid Avenue.
The library of the
Medical College was
founded in 1870, the same year that the medical faculty was inaugurated.
The library is second oldest medical library in Asia. It is housed on the
first floor of the administration building of the medical faculty on the
Kynsey Road. The seating capacity of the library is about 160. The medical library is the focal point of the Health
Literature Libraries and Information Services Network (HELLIS) and
privileged as the WHO depository library in the country.
The Faculty of Science
library is in the Ground floor of the renovated physics building, close to
the Deanís office of the faculty. The library consists of Permanent Reference section, Reference section, Reading room,
Lending section, Periodicals section and the Computer room. The reading
capacity is 150.
Resources and Collections
The central library and faculty libraries contain approximately 400,000 books, bound periodicals and reports in Arts, Education, Humanities, Law, Management and Commerce, medicine, Pure Science and Social Sciences. The library also adds 5000 to 6000 materials to its stock every year. The library has received depository status from International Monetary Fund for its publications and communications. Except Sri Lanka and Rare collections books are available on open access for reference and for borrowing purposes Sri Lanka Collection ans Rare collection are colsed accessed collections. Potential readers can request any material available there by filling a form obtainable from the counter in the Sri Lanka Collection. These materials are only for reference purposes and they cannot be taken away from the library premises. No photocopies are allowed. .
books are bought especially on recommendations of the academic staff. The
university library also receives very valuable donations from
intellectuals and scholars of both local and international repute. ( Also
see the History of the Collection).
Permanent Reference Section
The main library and faculty libraries have well organized Permanent Reference collections. These comprehensive collections consists of ready reference materials such as Dictionaries, Encyclopaedias, Yearbooks, Handbooks, Directories, Almanacs etc. and important textbooks, past questions papers and special collections. In the central library the collection is on the 1st floor. Permanent collections in the Medical and Science libraries contain materials of ready reference nature, with a bias to subject specialization.
In the medical library there are specialized pharmacopias, dictionaries and encyclopaedias, an indexed collection of Sri Lanka medical literature and publications, Index Medicus and Index Medicus of South East Asia (IMSEAR) etc. in both printed and electronic formats. Materials in these sections are released only for the purpose of taking photocopies.
Reference collection of the central library and other faculty libraries are made of important text books recommended by the teaching faculty and essential reading materials which are limited in number. Reference Section in the central library is in the third floor. Reference books are issued from 02.45 to 07.30p.m. for overnight and weekend use. The reference collection of the borrowed materials should be returned back to the library by 09.30 a.m. on the following working day.
The Periodical Section
periodical section is located on the 4th floor. Nearly 970
journal titles are received in the libraries of University of Colombo. The
Central Library maintains periodical collections of Arts, Education,
Humanities, Management and Social Science. The medical
library receives nearly 200 journal titles and 170 journals titles are
available at the science faculty library. Bound/ unbound copies of
periodicals are not available for loan, yet available for obtaining
photocopies of required information. The periodical section closes at 6.00
p.m. in the central library.
The Ceylon Collection
and Rare Collection
The Ceylon Collection and Rare Collection are on the 4th floor of the central library. Books written by Sri Lankan authors, books on Sri Lanka, and government publications, theses etc. are deposited in this collection. These collections are on closed access and services are provided mainly for the academic staff and the research workers.
The Rare Collection supposes to be a collection of materials with a preservation value. Books that are printed during centuries earlier, books written by famous authors, books and other forms of printed materials that are found out of print, books written with rare subject approach, collection of Acts of Sri Lanka, books with historical value like blue books and sessional papers are preserved in this collection. The collection is available on closed access basis and strictly allowed for reference only. No photocopies are permitted from this section.
The Lending Collections in the main and faculty libraries are kept open from Monday to Friday till 03.00p.m. Lending section of the main library is organized on the 5th floor. Books are loaned for a period of two weeks.
The Law library collection occupies the whole of second floor of the Central Library. Text books, Periodicals, Law reports etc. are included in the collection. All the library materials in this collection are treated as reference materials and only law students are allowed to borrow textbooks for over night and weekend reading
The e-Resource section in the main and faculty libraries is kept open from Monday to Sunday from 8.30 am to 06.00p.m. A number of electronic journals and CD-ROMS are available in the centre. If a user needs to use computers available there, they must have booked a seat prior to the visit. This can be done personally by visiting the centre or phoning to the library over 011 2158743. The centre located in the main library has 20 computers for undergraduates, 4 computers for staff and postgraduate students.
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and Classification Schemes
Bibliographical information of the books could be found in the main catalogue which is available on the first floor of the main library. The Medical and Science faculty libraries also maintain special catalogues for their own collections.
The main catalogue is computerised and will be available online shortly. The Medical and Science catalogues are available in the faculty LANs and will be connected to the main OPAC shortly.
Two standard classification schemes are used in the library. The main library use Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme for Arts, Education, Humanities, Management and Social Science collections while Universal Decimal Classification Scheme is used for Law, Pure and Applied Sciences