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  Universal Digital Library »

Digital Libraries

The concept of providing libraries to the public gained momentum and public libraries were established in almost all countries with the active involvement of public.

Andhra Pradesh is one of the biggest states in India having a population of 76.2 millions as per 2001 census. Hyderabad, which is a capital city of Andhra Pradesh is also one of the biggest cities in India, and is credited as the first city to establish E-seva centers in the country.

Government of Andhra Pradesh in its vision document 2020 stated that “Digital Libraries would be set up to preserve and propagate the State’s rich cultural heritage”. Accordingly Department of Public Libraries of Andhra Pradesh has associated with the Universal Digital Library Project since September, 2002.

There is a large network of Public Libraries all over Andhra Pradesh which are having free access to all. There are about 1842 number of public libraries with other accessory facilities like 99 mobile libraries 1400 Book deposit centers spread all over Andhra Pradesh, with a total book stock 183.18 lakhs. The Department of Public Libraries equips these libraries with new books every year. In addition to that, special efforts are made in providing reading facilities to the students and the youth with competitive examinations and reference units and special reading facilities to women and children respectively in these public libraries.

The Department of Public Libraries has identified the following two Scanning Centers for the Universal Digital Library project one at State Central Library, Afzalgunj, Hyderabad; another at City Central Library, Ashok Nagar, Hyderabad.

The State Central Library of Andhra Pradesh, which was originally known as Asafia State Library, was established in 1891, which was dedicated to the public in the year 1936 during the period of H.E.H. Nizam the seventh. In 1955, after the enactment of Hyderabad Public Libraries Act, Asafia State Library was declared as the State Central Library for the Hyderabad State. After the linguistic reorganization of States in 1956, it was declared as the State Central Library for the Andhra Pradesh State and also this building is now declared as heritage building and which is presently housing 4.60 lakhs of books in the following languages.

Book stock in State Central Library:-

Language Book stock on 31st March 2006

Telugu …   1,46,597
English …   1,46,856
Urdu    …      69,619
Hindi    …      46,174
Arabic  …       6,459
Persian …       6,492
Tamil   …       1,223
Kannada …   15,073
Marathi …     17,419
Sanskrit …      3,368

Total …4,59,282

The City Central Library, Ashoknagar, Hyderabad was established in the year of 1961. This library is located in the heart of the Hyderabad city. This library is working under the City Grandhalaya Samstha, Hyderabad District and having 83 branch Libraries.The City Central Library has got the best Library award from Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata.

Total book stock in the City Central Library:

Language Book stack

Telugu …   65,619
English …   68,443
Urdu    …   16,057
Hindi    …   25,441
Tamil    …    2,933
Kannada  …  3,506
Marathi    …  3,349
Sanskrit   …  2,520

Total   …   1,87,868


Arms define “Digital Library” to mean “a managed collection of information, with associated services, where the information is stored in Digital formats and accessible over a network”. To some people it simply means carrying out the functions of the library in a new way. A digital library is an integrated set of services for capturing, cataloguing, storing, searching protecting and retrieving information, which provides coherent organization and convenient access to a typically large amount of digital information.

The Department of Public Libraries, Andhra Pradesh has realized the importance of having knowledge society and encouraging library facilities in the rural areas through Book Deposit Centres, Bapuji Vignana Kendras etc, but still there is a vacuum between knowledge providing centers i.e. library facilities and knowledge seekers. Therefore there is a need to think of providing information/knowledge through various means other than book form. It is time for any responsible administrator to think of providing the knowledge required to every individual at their door steps in the electronic format i.e. through the Internet/Online services.

The Universal Digital Library project has goal of keeping one million books on the Web. There is lot of interactions going on all over the globe in keeping the entire knowledge in the Net whether it is a scientific knowledge or moral stories, fictions, text books, music, dance, sculpture, photos etc. to be accessible to any one at any time. The committed steps taken by Prof. Raj Reddy of Carnegie Mellon University, Pitts Burg, U.S.A. as the Chief Architect of Universal Digital Library Project, he has motivated the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Department of Public Libraries to be a part of Universal Digital Library project.


Totally ten Scanners were installed five at each of the scanning center i.e. at State Central Library, Afzal gunj and City Central Library, Ashok nagar, Hyderabad in November 2002.

The Department of Public Libraries, Government of Andhra Pradesh has taken up this project as an aim to digitize 1.44 lakh books of common interest to the communities of interest and to make them available in a location language and time independently. The staffs of both the scanning centers are assigned to identify books published prior to 1923 in State Central Library and City Central Library.


The basic training has been provided to the staff of both the scanning centers for seven days.


1. Selection of Books: Old books available in Government and Private Libraries, which does not attract Copy Right Act are identified. Books published prior to 1923 are being scanned in both the scanning centers.

2. Data Verification:
   a). To avoid duplications in the scanning process search is made in Digital Library of India

        Web Site to  know whether a particular book has already been scanned or not. (
   b). After completion of Metadata files, the books will be sent to scanning Room.

3. Scanning Procedure:

1. Five Minolta-PS 7000 Scanners in each scanning center are installed. Each scanner is attached with two computers of high capacity of 80 GB Hard Disk and 528 MB RAM.
2. On each scanner minimum 3000 pages can be scanned within duration of eight hours.
3. After scanning, the scanned Data will be stored in OTIFF folder in TIFF format.

After completing cropping work TIFF images will be stored in PTIFF folder & OCR will be applied by using ABBEY FINE READER and converted into HTML, RTF & TXT files. After completing quality control check, the scanned Data will be written in DVD’s and CD’s and submitted to the source Library, and the same Data will be sent to IIIT, Gachibowli, Hyderabad in Hard Disks or DVD’s to keep the Data on WEB.


We could scan the books published after 1950 also, after taking the willingness of the Authors/Publishers. Still there is a need to have a massive publicity in educating the publishers as well as Authors to take part in this innovative project. Consent of Authors/Publishers are obtained for their willingness through press & electronic media and also in writing directly to Authors/Publishers to scan their books.

Out of 40,658 books available in Registrar of Publications, Hyderabad, Authors/Publishers covering 27,450 books were addressed requesting them to give their consent to scan their books and to keep them on WEB. A separate team of employees of Registrar of Publications is constituted for obtaining consent of Authors/Publishers. So far 1,655 Individual Authors/Publishers have given their consents to scan 8,225 Books.


A team has been constituted with Librarians of SCL & CCL as Liaison Officers for identification of old books available at Sri Krishna Devaraya Andhra Bhasha Nilayam , Vemana Grandhalayam,Government Publications, Government Text books Press, Telugu Academy, and other Government / Private Libraries.


The Universal Digital Library Project has given impetus to the literary world as the knowledge is vastly changing and developing by leaps and bounds from dawn to dusk in the knowledge explosion society from the boundaries of the micro and macro systems of the society. Library caters not only to the needs of the society in all walks of life as per the changing tone and trends of the requirements of the knowledge but also in the information technology field.

The Universal Digital Library project is not just aiming to keep one million books on the Web, but it is doing a yeomen service to humanity with an objective of providing knowledge to every knowledge seeker at any point of time at any place. It is time for all of us to combine our united efforts to create a knowledge society duly making available up to date knowledge at the doorsteps.



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