The Rs 165-crore Anna Centenary Library, coming up at Kotturpuram in the city, is set to become a treasure trove for book lovers and rearch scholars. The eight-storied complex, which is scheduled to be completed by April next year, will house about 12 lakh books, e-journals and e-books on all and sundry subjects.
A 60-member team, comprising college professors and academicians, is on a mission, visiting various institutions scouting for books. The country’s leading educational institutions, including the IITs, IIMs and the Jawaharlal Nehru University, have been requested to provide their online public access catalogues (OPAC) so that the same titles could be procured for the library. The Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University alone had provided 33,000 titles, official sources said.
“As we have been receiving thousands of titles for a single subject alone, an experts’ committee has embarked on prioritising the titles based on the frequency of use by readers. The committee, which will be given the entire list of books recommended for any particular subject, will categorise them into beginners’ level, middle level and advanced level,” the officials said.
“We are in touch with universities all over the world and are planning to sign memorandum of understanding with 10 to 15 varsities,” they added.
The public library, which is expected to start functioning in June next, will have four lakh books, one lakh e-journals and 50,000 to one lakh e-books in the first year and the number of books would be increased steadily in the next three years. A sum of Rs 60 crore had been earmarked to purchase books in the first year alone.
While the children’s section would have about 40,000 titles, besides journals and short films, the Braille section on the ground floor would have a minimum of 25,000 titles and also talking books. Steps had also been taken to make available the required technology to convert any book into Braille, if a visually impaired person wanted it, the officials added.
A separate floor had been planned for Tamil language, for which a hunt had been launched to collect rare manuscripts. The fourth floor had been dedicated to Dravidian and other Indian languages. The library complex, coming up on eight acres of land, will have a capacity of 1,250 people. It will also house a separate auditorium with a capacity to seat 1,280 people and an amphitheatre on the terrace.