Celebration time for knowledge hub

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By ABHIJEET MUKHERJEE in Ranchi
  • Published 22.08.05
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Ranchi, Aug. 22: In a town where virtually every public sector undertaking, college and university has its own library, survival of a public library is a cause for celebration.

With the International Library completing 10 years of its existence this year, the Trust can look back with satisfaction.

When the British Council division decided to shut shop in 1995, it handed over the premises and the stocks to the Trust and the library is now known as the ILCC ( International Library and Cultural Centre).

The quaint bungalow on the Club Road continues to be the hub of activities. It continues to draw the bibliophile and the number of books has also swelled. What?s more, as opposed to only British authors and publications, the library now hosts books by authors of many nationalities and even has a Hindi section.

The number of members, however, remains by and large the same. The British Library?s membership ranged between a low of 1,200 to a high of 2,200 or so. When it closed down, it was apparently left with just 73 odd members. But ten years down the line, ILCC can boast of a membership hovering around 2,000.

The collection in the library cuts across genres and tastes. While classics feature on the list of available books, the library is also a storehouse of contemporary fiction by noted authors. On the shelves are A.P.J. Abdul Kalam?s Wings of Fire, Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh and collections of a host of other celebrated authors like Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasrin, V.S. Naipaul et al.

Sections are also devoted to special fields of study like English literature, law, medicines, advertising, graphic designing etc. The library contains a section on painting and art history too. The collection covers a wide generation of artists, from the romanticists, the Renaissance and even the realists.

A large collection in the library has been donated by the State Bank of India, which comprises books on science and the supernatural, magic etc. There is something for the techies as well with the library housing latest books on C, C++, Java, Oracle and C#, to be used for reference. Besides, collections have been donated by the Rotary Club also.

The library acts as an excellent hub for students as well. ?To cater to the needs of students we have bought competitive books worth Rs 1 lakh this year. When we were handed over the library there were around 14000 books, to which 32,000 were added by ILCC. There are 45 journals and seven newspapers available for the members, says the administrator, Pankaj.

The library, though a self-funding institution, is spruced up with computers with internet facility, photocopying machines as well as a suitable acoustic system.

ILCC has four categories of membership. While individual members pay Rs 400 annually, a member need to pay Rs 5,000 for life membership. For institutional membership the fee is Rs 2,000 while the corporate membership fee is Rs 50,000.