“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light”
The culturally rich North-eastern states of India have always stayed sources of great intellectual heritage. Moreover, the libraries in the eight states are witnesses to the silent revolution that has taken place in the last decades.
Shillong- the capital city of Meghalaya- is a wonderful hill station that also goes by the name of “abode of clouds”. With the passage of time, it is fast emerging as a hub of education. Prominent educational institutes like Indian Institute of Management, National Institute of Technology (NIT), North Eastern Hill University, University of Technology and Management, and Martin Luther Christian University have set up campuses in this small city in North-East. As the north-east paces up with the rest of the nation as an educational hub, it has also had strong presence of media. The neighbouring Assam has an equal number of elite educational institutions. Going with the growth of educational prospective, a number of libraries have come up in the states to help in research and study of the students and scholars.
North-east- The biggest online library
To top it all, North-east has now the first online library with a stock of 15,000 e-books and journals. Lauded as the biggest step to give boost to the reading experience of students, scholars, and academicians in the eight states of North-east, Centre for development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), working under the initiatives of Union Ministry of Communication and information Technology, has set up this online library. This credit of the project goes to ex-president of India Late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as he worked untiringly to make it come true.
The biggest advantage of this online library is it would have books in multiple languages.
Lakshminath Bezbaroa Central Library, Assam
Homed in the campus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), the library is named after great writer Sahityarathi Lashmikanth Bezbaroa. With a floor-space of 7500 square feet, the library is housed in a four-storied building in the campus of IIT, Guwahati. As a library, it has become a formidable support center for learning, teaching, and activities in research. All the support rendered by this library to the academic community is state-of-the-art and innovative. The library currently has 1, 54,564 printed volumes and 2291 current journals. Besides this, this library also supports the learners and researchers with different e-books and with online diverse database from a wide area of academic repertoire. With its prestigious membership from INDEST-AICTE Consortium and DBT e-Library Consortium that gives access to 12835 e-journals.
North-Eastern Hill Library- NEHU, Meghalaya
The prestigious North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) started in the year 1973. Being recognised as the top-most university in the country now-a-days, its state-of-the-art library has more than 2.3 lakhs volumes of books and periodicals in bound versions, this place offers rare opportunities to scholars and readers. Literally a storehouse of information resources, the library has top-end computers, other electronic and audio-visual equipments that give consistent in-house and online services. To add to it, the university also organises various programmes based on internal reorganisation, optimisation of available resources, and other innovative steps to reach out to people. For this, University Grants Commission (UGC) has recognised it with “University with potential for excellence”.
Manipur University Library, Manipur
Situated in the heart of Manipur University, the four-storied library is an acclaimed institution of excellence and achievement. Spread on the floor-space of 3200 square feet, it gets treated as the centre of self-education for scholars, students, teachers, and staff. It has now the recognition of being the Referral University of the State. As an information centre for 3000 registered users, it has already been recognised as a centre of excellence for research activities. As a rich depository of 1,61,000 books and 200 printed journals, the library offers facilities such as open access system, well-furnished reading space, online public access catalogue, photo-copy facilities, internet facility, and generator facility.
The Youth Library movement in Lohit, Arunachal Pradesh
Spreading another movement of literacy in north-east of India, VT-AWIC Youth Library network is a pioneering organisation in promoting literacy by building up libraries. Reaching out to readers in the length and breadth across 300 kilometres, the network is a joint initiative by Delhi-based Association of writers & Illustrators for Children (AWIC), the Vivekananda Trust, Mysore, and the Lohit District administration of Arunachal Pradesh. Mainly run by volunteers with rich contribution of time and energy, it has created innovative promotional activities in reading and brought all-round growth in educational development for the tribal youth of Arunachal Pradesh. Equipped with 13 mini-libraries, it has in its possession 6000 books for children, teachers, and parents. Named as Bamboosa Library, Tezu and APNE Library, Wakro, the libraries are open for 7 days in a week.
Twin libraries of Gangtok, Sikkim
Gangtok houses two brilliant libraries but ironically those fall short of adequate number of readers. State Central library and the library at Namgyal institute of Tibetology, Gangtok have large stocks of books, consisting of ancient scriptures to modern publications. Literally a birth-pace of new ideas, the libraries have every facility for researchers, scholars, and students. Library at Namgyal institute of Tibetology has the 3rd
largest stock of books on Tibetan Buddhism and teaching. It attracts people from all over the world but none from the local community visits the library. The State Central Library has more than 1200 registered members and the group consists of people from various parts of India, who enjoy the readership of large collection of books.
Central Library, Tripura University
The inception of Central Library of Tripura University came in the year 1987 and mostly the stock of book came from the then Calcutta University, Post-graduate centre. With an initial stock of 18,780 books and documents, the library has grown tremendously over the years and it is now a crucial centre for learning and important place for resources for students, research scholars, faculty members and other people. Though, it shifted its accommodation from place to place for two decades, in the year 2005, the university constructed its own building for library. The new three-storied building with a space of 4400 square feet, amply houses thousands of books, printed journals, and other reading materials. Now with a formidable collection of 1, 11,752 books and printed journals, it has acquired a special place among all the top libraries in the world.
Central Library, Nagaland
National Institute of Technology (NIT), Nagaland offers excellent facilities for research and education to its students in its central library. Having a rich stock of 7200 books of different subjects pertaining to Engineering, technology, Basic Sciences, Management, Economics and other subjects, it also has the latest publications of magazines, periodicals, and newspapers. As it have 1400 e-books on Electrical, Electronics, Communication, civil, mechanical, and computer science, such facility has proven its immense worth for the research scholars and students.
Central Library, Mizoram University
Central Library of Mizoram University has gone through a sea-change in the last two decades with a number of developments. Although, it was started two decades back, the number of books in its collection has grown to 95,818 by the end of 2014. Besides this, it also has a rich collection of thesis, M.Phil dissertations, and various bound versions of journals. It also subscribes to vast numbers of journals, periodicals, and dallies. Recently, it has launched a mass digitisation process to save its publications and documents and got those digitised.