House library to get facelift to lure back legislators

House library to get facelift to lure back legislators

The musty smelling State legislature library, rarely visited by its members, is undergoing a transformation. The aim is to motivate the legislators to make use of the library’s literature, archived from 1879 onwards.

The library, which comprises books on the Constitution, law, political science and history,
is available to the members of both the Legislative Assembly and Council. However, due to lack of a proper reading area, apart from other constraints, the library is not a favourite among many.

To make up for this shortcoming, the secretariat has decided to modernise the library at a cost of Rs one crore, said Council Chairman D H Shankarmurthy, who performed the ground-breaking ceremony in Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday.

Upgrading of the library will take place in the existing space on the ground floor of the legislature. Here, a general reading area for about 40 people will be created, along with small cubicles with airconditioning. This space will be reserved for the legislators.

While the Public Works Department will take up the civil works of the library, Godrej has been awarded the contract to furnish the library. Shankarmurthy said his secretariat was inspired by the Anna Centenary Library in Chennai, which is said to be Asia’s largest modern library,

Technical advisor for the library, Vasudev Rao said efforts were also on to digitise the library, starting with committee reports, commission reports, reference books and select Parliamentary books that are frequently referred to by the readers.

He said plans were afoot to install a common screen inside the House, where digitised records/books/reports can be displayed for the benefit of the entire House. The modernisation works are expected to be completed by the end of May and the digitisation process by June, Rao said.

There are 49,768 books in the library. Of these, 20,300 contain debates and proceedings of the Legislative Assembly and Council between 1879 and April 2007.
There is a collection of about 12,500 Lok Sabha debates from 1955 to 2007 and about 12,300 Rajya Sabha debates from 1953 to 2007.

There are about 12,300 Central gazettes from 1935 to 2009; 12,750 State gazettes from 1952 to 2009; 550 volumes of House of Commons debates; and 350 volumes of House of
Lords debates.

The library subscribes to 43 daily newspapers, apart from weekly, monthly, fortnightly and complimentary magazines.

In all, the total number of books include - those in the library section, Legislators Home library, reading room -  and research and reference books stood at three lakh.

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