Library, University of Moratuwa

The University of Moratuwa Library (UML) is one of the most prominent technology libraries in the country. Its main subject specializations are Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology. However, the library caters to the requirements of the membership by housing books and other materials of general interest as well. 

Our priority is given to the academic & non-academic staff and the students of the University of Moratuwa, as well as to the Institute of Technology (ITUM). Yet, our services extend beyond this administrational boundary, and serves the entire technology community of Sri Lanka through information dissemination and networking.

UML has no branch libraries. All sections are concentrated in one building. All major library functions are fully automated through the library system.

The major landmarks of University of the Moratuwa and the library can be summarized as follows. 

  • In 1960, the Institute of Practical Technology (IPT) was founded at Katubedda with aid from the Canadian Government. The primary aim of the institute was to provide full time courses for technicians of sub-professional grades.

  • The Ceylon College of Technology (CCT) was commenced in  in 1966 with a whole set of new courses at professional level. The IPT continued in the same premises with full-time courses. The IPT was amalgamated to the CCT in 1967.

  • Under the provisions of the Universities Act No. 1 of 1972, the University of Ceylon was established in 1972, CCT becoming the Katubedda Campus of the University of Ceylon. Concurrently, the ‘Library of Katubedda Campus’ was established as one of the premier academic libraries in Sri Lanka during this period.

  • The University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, was established through an Order under the Universities Act, No. 16 of 1978. Similarly, the Katubedda Campus Library was renamed as Library of the University of Moratuwa. However, different departments of the library were been scattered around the campus site, until a new,spacious building for the library was constructed in 1995.


Some important features of the old and new library facilities/collections.

  • The old library was located in the university administration block. In addition to the Librarian, one Assistant Librarian, and 12 technical staff members were employed. Presently, there are four Senior Asst. Librarians, one Deputy Registrar (Library Services) and 34 non-academic staff members.

  • The book collection of the old library was a mere 3,000. Presently, we have a collection of over 100,000 books.

  • Earlier the first year students were allowed to borrow one lending book and one reference book and final year students could borrow two lending books and one reference book. Presently, all undergraduates can borrow 04 books while the maximum number of books issued for post graduate students varies depending on their library deposits.

  • It was in the year 1971 that the library started a card catalogue. All English catalogue cards were typed while catalogue cards of Sinhala/Tamil books were manually written. We terminated the card catalogue from year 2004 except the one being maintained for office records. Now the operational catalogue is an Online Catalogue.


Automation of UML

The automation of library catalogues of the UML was started in 1997. Data were input into a database created with CDS/ISIS software. The catalogue was available online from 1998, with the assistance of the Department of Computer Science. It was the first time that a web OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) was available in Sri Lanka.

The UML purchased the Libsys automation system from LibSys Corporation, India in 2000. All library functions were automated by 2001, and the system was inaugurated in the same year. The University of Moratuwa was the first University library in Sri Lanka to achieve this milestone.

In 2008, the UML introduced an RFID based security system. Security gates were installed, and magnetic chips were inserted into book covers.