Libraries are collections of books, manuscripts, journals, and other sources of recorded information. Libraries in this sense, that is, primarily as storehouses for books and periodicals, have changed dramatically since the middle of the 20th century. Libraries now have emerged as a far-reaching body of information resources and services. Rapid developments in electronic communication and other data management devices have made it possible to store and retrieve information in many different forms and on a global basis. The terms ‘digital library’ and ‘virtual library’ have come to be used to refer to the vast collection of information to which people gain access over the Internet, cable television, or some other types of wireless communication system. Despite all these significant changes, the cultural role of libraries remains unchanged. Libraries remain responsible for acquiring and providing access to books, periodicals, and other media that meet the educational, recreational, and informational needs of their users. In short, a library is a place where a child can hear its first story and a scholar can carry out his or her research.
The college library, which is a cornerstone of the institution, is no exception to these general trends, and has evolved from its humble beginnings with only a few hundred books into a modern one with Internet and reprographic facilities over its sixty years of existence, thanks to the periodic grants made to it by the University Grants Commission and the Government of West Bengal for development. The library at present boasts a collection of over 29,000 books in addition to a goodly number of journals and magazines to which it regularly subscribes.
The year 2014 is a landmark in its not-yet-long history, for in that year the Government of West Bengal made to it a generous grant of over seven lakh rupees for expansion and modernization. Utilizing that grant, the library was expanded in area, was refurbished thoroughly and given a facelift, and a more spacious and comfortable reading room was added. It now has an all-new look and up-to-date facilities.
The library also has institutional membership of The British Council Library, Kolkata. Visually impaired students of the college can use the Braille Library of the Blind Boys’ Academy, Ramakrishna Mission, Narendrapur, Kolkata, by a special arrangement made with it.
Needless to say that all this would not have been possible without the dedication and care of the library staff. I sincerely believe that the college library will go a lot farther in its evolution and modernize itself still more in years to come in tune with the changing needs of time.