State Central Library in Hyderabad going digital

Computerised over 45,000 rare books using library management software e-Grandhalaya Hyderabad: One of the biggest public libraries in the country, the State Central Library at Afzalgunj, is making rapid strides in converting all its rich physical data into a digital library. In order to preserve its unique historical collection, the library has computerised over 45,000 rare books using library management software e-Grandhalaya.Also known as Asafia State Library, it is a knowledge bank for those preparing for competitive exams and a go-to place for bibliophiles looking for different collections of books under a single roof. According to library officials, the collection that was digitised was mostly in English, Telugu, Sanskrit, Urdu and Persian languages, and efforts are on to computerise more books and make them accessible to today’s readers.This apart, as many as 30 to 40-year-old collections of newspapers in Telugu and English have been scanned and stored in the digital library, where readers can search and refer to news articles with ease. “It is difficult to refer to old newspapers and hence we regularly scan and upload them in the library,” V Narasimhulu, in-charge librarian, said.

The State Central Library has an enviable collection of 5 lakh books and magazines, including some rare palm-leaf manuscripts. The manuscript collection totals 17,000 plus and some of them date back to the 5th century.

These book collections comprise 1.7 lakh in Telugu, 1.7 lakh in English and over 1.5 lakh in other regional languages. Apart from research scholars, children of different age groups, students and senior citizens frequent the facility to browse through the vast collection.

The library has eight sections housing English, Telugu, Hindi, Urdu, Kannada, Marathi, free reading rooms – which are for students, where they can bring personal material for reading. Hari Shankar, chief librarian, State Central Library, said a fund of Rs 84 lakh for 2018-19 from Raja Ram Mohan Roy Foundation in Kolkata and the State government was recently released. “Orders have been placed for new books for the needs of all libraries, including the State Central Library,” he said.

The library is open from 8 am to 8 pm while the textbook section is open till midnight on all days except on Thursdays.Prominent libraries in the city
Hyderabad has always been a paradise for bibliophiles. Apart from the State Central Library, there are a handful of other libraries, which one can wander into and get lost in the world of words.

British Library
Located on Road No. 36, Jubilee Hills, British Library was established in 1979 and is one of the most well-stocked libraries in the city with thousands of books and magazines. It offers digital content to readers that can be accessed from home on reading devices. Free Wi-Fi and a coffee shop inside the vast and well-furnished library adds to the beauty of the place. On offer is annual membership and also membership options such as family, online, corporate, students, etc.

City Central Library
Set up in 1960, the City Central Library in Ashok Nagar is one the biggest libraries in the city with over 2 lakh books, magazines and newspapers of different languages including Telugu, Hindi, English, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil and Sanskrit. Every day, about 1,500 readers visit the library, which has a perfect ambience with a classic charm in the design and architecture. Readers can also stretch out their chairs and sit down with their books underneath the trees on its premises. The library also accommodates 25 computers, which one can browse for a nominal charge.

Osmania University Library
The Osmania University Library was established in 1918 along with the university and was later shifted to the present building. It has over 5 lakh books, over 6,000 manuscripts, various journals and documents. It is considered as one of the biggest libraries in Asia with its rich collection of books and huge reading halls. The university also preserved a 400-year-old manuscript of the ‘Mahabharat’.