Margaret Cousins Memorial Library


The Margaret Cousins Memorial Library was established in 1956 at Sarojini House as a general Public Library and in March 1981, it started specializing in Women’s Studies. The MCM Library is a storehouse of knowledge on issues related to women and it has a portrait gallery with photographs of all past presidents.

In 2012 the Library started automation of its activities for exhaustive and expeditious retrieval and dissemination of information. It is now equipped with 1 Server, 4 PCs, 1 Barcode Printer and Barcode Reader, 2 laser printers, 5 UPSs and adequate no. of Softwares – LINUX, Windows, KOHA, MS-Office with Site Licence. The Library has employed KOHA (Library Management/Automation Software) for automation of its entire range of activities.


The MCM Library provides diverse information on many subjects and specialized information on Gender Studies and other women related subjects to its members. The Library has an in house journal Roshni. It is a quarterly journal launched in 1938 devoted to articles on women’s issues and consists of reports of activities conducted by AIWC and its branches. The library collection consists of books, monographs, government documents/ policy papers, institutional publications, reports and conference proceedings. The other sources of information are reference books, classics and best seller books, fiction and popular magazines, compact discs comprising recordings of interviews with eminent personalities etc. The Library has about 12000 volumes covering a range of subjects like Gender Studies, Social Sciences, Political Science, History, Biography, Literature, Popular Fiction and the Arts. We subscribe some general periodicals and 6 daily newspapers. It also receives a fair number of reading material as gifts or in exchange. Of these, the scholarly/academic periodicals and rare documents like files, in house journals and annual reports of AIWC’s are bound annually and preserved for reference.

A project for the preservation and conservation of archival material consisting of files, letters, reports, old photographs and newspaper clippings has been initiated. Preservation cum conservation unit has been set up in the premises of AIWC for this purpose. Files belonging to the period from 1927 to 1944 have been preserved. For preservation of documents AIWC got two grants from the Ministry of Culture in the years 2012-2013 and 2014-2015. After renovation of the premises, the MCM Library reopened for its users in 2014 with new material and an improved environment.

Library Services

Reading Room

The Library offers unmatched reading facilities. The Reading Hall has a seating capacity of 50 readers in order to maintain proximity of the library users to the books. In order to maintain decorum the following rules are laid down for users:

  • Strict silence should be observed in the Library.
  • Use of cell phones is not permitted in the reading room.
  • Tables for researchers cannot be reserved. No books, papers, etc. should be left on these tables.
  • A Member should hold only one newspaper or journal for reading at a time and replace it in its position after use.

Reference Service

Reference Desk of the MCM library, headed by a senior library professional, is located on the third floor at the head office of AIWC. The Reference Librarian assisted by other staff guides/helps the library users in the location and selection of documents/ information, in the use of OPAC. Reference Section helps users to locate Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Directories, Yearbooks, Reports, Atlases, Handbooks and Manuals etc. The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Children’s Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia of Women, Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, Dictionaries dealing with general and special subjects, Manorama yearbook, General Knowledge Manual, Geographical Atlases are readily available in the library.

Internet Facility Library provides full internet facility to its users. Readers may use their own laptops in the Library.

Online Catalogue (Online Public Access Catalogue) represents the library’s collection of learning resources. The Catalogue is accessible to the user/ researcher.

Photocopying of one third of the book/document is allowed at Rs. 2 per page.

Scanning Facility is available in the Library for members at Rs. 15 per page.

Newspaper Clipping Service: Newspaper clippings record about AIWC’s information and laws related to women and children maintained in the Library. Any other newspaper clipping required by the researcher/Scholar or user on a specific heading is provided to them on request.


The computerization of entire range of Circulation Functions like the use of bar-coded ID-cum-Library Cards for check-out and check-in of reading material, calculation of overdue charges, printing of gate-passes, reservation of books, printing of reminders for outstanding books, checking of a book whether it is checked-out or is available on shelf, if checked-out to whom it is issued and when it is due, blocking of user account, statistical data, and all other circulation-related functions - is in the offing.


The books in the Library are classified according to the Dewey decimal classification scheme and catalogued online into machine-readable form with all bibliographic details.

Admission to Library

Only registered members shall be permitted admission to the Library. He/She must produce his/her identity card at the Security Counter of the Library failing which admission shall be refused. However, non-members shall be allowed admission only with special permission of the President of AIWC. Any member, who is desirous of using the library, shall enter his/her name in the Register maintained at the Library Gate.

Who can use the library?

This library will be of interest to:

  • Practitioners of Gender Studies or those interested in gender issues
  • Teachers and students of all subjects
  • Researchers
  • Writers/ Author
  • Media Persons
  • Administrators/Policy makers
  • Information Professionals

Library Rules

  • Library Timing 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Saturday. Second and Fourth Saturday will be off. Lunch Time 1:00 pm to 1:30 pm.
  • No entry without Library Card and with bag (Bag drop (locker) facility at the entrance of the Library).
  • At exit time get your material checked (Like books & registers etc.).
  • Complete silence is to be maintained in the library. No discussion in the library is allowed.
  • Switch off the Mobiles or put on silent mode in the library.
  • Computers may be used in the library depending on availability.
  • Pen drives are not allowed to be used in the library computers.
  • Library will not be responsible for lost or misplaced stuff of users.
  • No marking and folding of the pages on the Library materials will be tolerated.
  • If users returns books after due date, Rs. 1/- Late Fees per day will be charged
  • (Holiday and same day also count).
  • Rs. 50/- will be charged for duplicate card.
  • Photocopying facilities will be available for research and reference only, at Rs. 2 per page.
  • Other materials (Reference books/Reserve books/Audio- Video) will be issued for same day.