Monday, 30th October 2017

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Smart library for New Town

The library occupies 6,000sq ft, divided equally between the second and the third floors of Nazrul Tirtha

By Sudeshna Banerjee in Calcutta
  • Published 18.11.19, 4:29 AM
  • Updated 18.11.19, 4:29 AM
  • a min read
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Debashis Sen shows minister Sujit Bose how to read a digital book on Kindle as artist and BH Block resident Shuvaprasanna too checks out one on the inaugural day of the New Town Library. Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee
A wall opposite the library done up with a wall paper with a timeline tracing the development of communication and printing through text and pictographs.
A wall opposite the library done up with a wall paper with a timeline tracing the development of communication and printing through text and pictographs. Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee
The wash room door in the adults’ reading room is camouflaged in a mosaic of alphabets.
The wash room door in the adults’ reading room is camouflaged in a mosaic of alphabets. Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee
The entrance to the room with prints of books on the glass wall
The entrance to the room with prints of books on the glass wall Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee
The drop box where readers can return books. The scanner reads the RFID tag and issues an acknowledgement.
The drop box where readers can return books. The scanner reads the RFID tag and issues an acknowledgement. Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee

A vacuum in New Town’s cultural landscape was filled with the New Town Library opening on Tuesday.

The library occupies 6,000sq ft, divided equally between the second and the third floors of Nazrul Tirtha. “We had a small library in Swapnobhor. There is one on Rabindranath Tagore in Rabindra Tirtha. A Nazrul archive exists in this building itself. But there was no general library. For two years, we have worked to put together this library under an advisory committee headed by former National Library director general Arun Chakraborty,” said Debashis Sen, chairman of the Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation, which runs New Town.

Annual membership costs Rs 1000. Two books can be issued at a time for three weeks. A book can be renewed twice for periods of 21 days. Late fee is Rs 2 per day. Books can be returned round the clock using the book drop box (see picture right).


A self-service kiosk where readers can follow printed instructions and issue a book
A self-service kiosk where readers can follow printed instructions and issue a book Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee
The children’s section, with a comics circle, individual seating spaces
The children’s section, with a comics circle, individual seating spaces Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee
An e-reader corner
An e-reader corner Picture by Sudeshna Banerjee

The library is divided into three segments — general, kids and teens. The second floor accommodates the kids and teens sections and the audio visual room while the senior reading room, two more audio-visual rooms the cafe and the lounge are on the third floor.

“We have created a mothers’ waiting room next to the kids’ zone which can be used as a multipurpose activity space,” said consulting architect Parinita Hati. “A comics zone has been created at the centre of the kid’s reading room which is carpeted to allow seating on the floor. Individualised seating spaces have been created in geometrical shapes.”

About 4,500 books have been procured so far. E-readers in the form of Kindles have been placed on both floors along with desktop computers with internet connection. It has a tie-up with National Digital Library.

Membership form is available on the website newtownlibrary.in. The library will be open daily from noon to 7pm, except Monday.