The Telegraph
Saturday , August 23 , 2014
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Bookworms, get ready for a rich trip
- American Corner to stock up on 1000 publications with embassy funds

The wonder of books is like no other and the American Corner in Patna will add to it soon.

American Corner, run by the United States consulate, will add 1,000 and odd books to its library in the next two months. The corner will utilise Rs 12 lakh it received last month for the purpose.

“From Random House to Pearson, from Hachette to Harper Collins, American Corner, Patna, will have books of all. Digitalisation of our library is also on the cards,” said Shweta Gour, director, American Corner, Patna.

At present, the library has close to 3,000 books.

Gour said: “Michael Pelletier, a senior official of US embassy, New Delhi, and Helen LaFave, the US consul general at Calcutta, visited the American Corner in June. Both of them were very happy to see the facilities here and promised to provide us funds to expand the library. Following this fruitful negotiation, we finally received Rs 12 lakh from the US consulate, Calcutta, last month. At present, our library has a collection of around 3,000 books (of American publishers), apart from around 200 DVDs and CDs on educational topics and Hollywood movies. By adding around 1,000 new books, our library would be enriched. We have among our members 300 students from different schools and colleges, including Patna Women’s College, Delhi Public School and Litera Valley School.”

The centre’s e-library is already a popular facility.

Gour said: “People can access lakhs of books and journals sitting at home through the free e-library facility. Those who are willing to access our e-library need to fill a form and submit it to our office. Very soon, a password is generated from the US consulate in Calcutta through which he/she can access the e-library.”

In the next two months, Patna’s American Corner would also launch a Skype facility on which residents can directly speak to US consulate general, Calcutta, officials.

“The US consulate at Calcutta has a separate wing — United States-India Educational Foundation — that tells people how to apply for a visa. It also enlightens students about the admission procedure to US institutions. The officials thoroughly guide students how to apply to US colleges and take them through the different procedures. Once we start the Skype facility in the next two months, residents can directly take help of the officials in Calcutta,” said Gour.

The American Corner in the city is among six such centres in the country. The others are in Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Guwahati and Lucknow.

Gour said the Patna centre is also trying to connect former students of US institutions with roots in Bihar. “We are planning to associate them with the American Corner so that they can help popularise the activities conducted at the centre,” she said.