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Kolkata National Library may get a centre in New Delhi

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The Hindu | Soumya Das |

Initially, only digitised versions of books are expected to be archived at the proposed facility

Kolkata National Library

Kolkata National Library

For the first time, a regional centre of the 113-year-old National Library is likely to come up in New Delhi. Confirming the development, Director General (Additional Charge) of National Library Arun Kumar Chakraborty said initially only digitised version of books will be kept at the proposed centre. Currently, the sole campus of the National Library, under the Ministry of Culture, is located on a 30-acre land in South Kolkata.  “In the initial stages, it will be very difficult to keep hard copies of books in the proposed extension as the full-fledged planning for the required infrastructure is yet to be done. Primarily, digital contents will be kept there,” Mr. Chakraborty told The Hindu on Monday.

Maximum capacity

The proposed centre will have a maximum capacity of 25 users and will be equipped with 35 computers. Mr. Chakraborty said the primary reason behind setting up such a facility is to increase the collection of recent publications at the National Library by streamlining collaboration with publishers. Since the headquarters of most of the major publishers are located in New Delhi, it would be convenient to set up an “extension” of the National Library there, he said. Pointing out that as per the Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954 the National Library is supposed to get free copies of all the Indian publications, he said: “However, due to our inadequate contacts with publishers, currently we do not get more than 30 to 40 per cent of the recent publications and so we are thinking of setting up an extension in New Delhi to resolve the issue.”  The National Library authorities said readers and researchers outside West Bengal find it difficult to gain access to its resources as they have to travel to Kolkata. “Readers in other States often complain that they do not get regular access to the National Library. Even for obtaining membership, they have to come to Kolkata. We should have offices in other places [outside Bengal] for this,” Mr. Chakraborty said. –  Courtesy


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