British Council Library, the go-to place for booklovers, welcomes back its members

Tuesday, 7 December 2021 (18:07 IST)
Kolkata: British Council Library, a paradise for book lovers, has announced the re-opening of its physical library in Kolkata.

The library is the go-to place for booklovers and avid readers in the city and caters to the reading and learning needs of its members from the 18 to 65 year age group. The reading trends witnessed in the ‘City of Joy’ are inclined towards fiction, literature, psychology, English language and self-development material. The decision to reopen is in line with the state government's recent directive to open public libraries.

With the British Council Library membership, bibliophiles can access a range of educational and entertainment resources, from books and e-books, novels, newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and research publications to self-access training materials, graphic novels, films, music concerts, audiobooks and much more. Established in 1950, the British Council Library houses a staggering physical collection of 26,459 books, magazines and DVD films.

Many book lovers have grown to love British Council’s Digital library and see it as a one-stop solution for high-quality content. Kolkata is one of the top four cities with the highest number of Digital Library memberships. Members can access over 3,000+ magazines and 8,000+ e-newspapers from 100 countries. Users can read and download from over 2,000+ journals from JSTOR, 15,000+ from ProQuest Central and access 3,00,000+ resources on EBSCO.

The Library has received a positive response since reopening its doors - 154 new members have been added and 491 members renewed their membership. The library has reopened for members above 15 years by pre-confirmed appointment from the library account.

Speaking about the reopening of the Library in the city, Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director East and Northeast India, British Council, said, "We know our members have been missing the experience of being in a physical library and the tactile experience of flipping through the pages of their favourite books. In line with the state government's regulations, we have reopened our library while keeping the safety of our members and staff while implementing strict health and safety protocols. At the same time, our Digital Library memberships continue to be very popular as well. Our library has books, resources, content and interesting workshops on offer for members of all age groups and interests, making it a one-stop-shop for families, students and professionals in the city. It is often the first port of call for those planning to study in the UK as well.”

Sumana Ghosh, a resident of Kolkata and member of the British Council Library, said, “From the time the library has reopened in Kolkata, I have been a regular visitor every other week. My bond with books began when I started to read as a child. Over the years, books opened up doors to a world full of excitement, companionship, adventure, and evolved steadily to inspire a myriad of emotions. The British Council has been instrumental in strengthening this bond, ever since I walked through its gates almost 25 years ago. This year, returning to the library and going back to the familiar aisles, browsing and selecting my books, reminded me that some things stay the same - even if the world around us has changed in ways we do not recognise. The experience of returning and issuing books is still seamless, governed by able professionals”. (UNI)

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