University of Calcutta, the first university of the country will throw open the doors of its library to the people in general. Shortly, anyone, with his or her identity card can get access to almost all the books of the library. Recently about 54,000 books have been procured by the library at a cost of about Rs 2 crore which was granted by the West Bengal department of mass education extension and library services.
Vice Chancellor of the university, Sonali Chakraborty Banerjee said that a common person will find all the books s/he required at the library. It was found out that after theutilization certificate of Rs 2 crore is submitted the department will allot another Rs 3 crore. Not only the College Street campus but libraries of the other eight campuses of the university will be accessible for common people. There will be different corners different categories of books. The corners have been categorized as – Anglo Indian Corner, Sports Corner and Film Studies Corner. A large section has been allotted for students who are preparing for different competitive examinations. Students of other universities too will be able to use the facilities. Banerjee said that a lot of thought had been put into the idea of making the library accessible to all. The first thing that came to our mind is that books of diverse categories should be kept to cater to more and more people from housewives to professionals. A huge collection of fiction has also been procured for the purpose.
Chief librarian of the university Soumitra Sarkar said that processing of all the books has been initiated. Numbering of the books are being done. He also said the people would not only be able to take advantage of the reading room but they would also be able to use the facilities of the digital library from where they would be able to download digital content.
The vice chancellor has also ensured that there was internet facilities at students’ hostel and thus the students would also be able to get access to the digital library from their hostel rooms.
There are about 12 lakh books in the university library. There are also some rare books from the 15th century. Digital books are even more in number than hard copies. Members of Central rating organisation NAAC also had lauded the university library. The central library will be open from 10 am till 8 pm while those at the campuses will be open till 5.30 pm.
An intended reader can, through university website find out which book is available at which campus of the university but in most cases there will be multiple copies of a book which will be kept at different campuses of the library.
The university also has different plans to improve services once the rest of the grant money is received.