The IIT, Kharagpur Library is one of the first to automate their activities and services provided both inhouse and on Internet. Here is a brief report enumerating these services/facilities.
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To cater to the need of trained manpower for higher learning in science and technology in the country, the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur, the first chain of six IIT’s, was established in 1950. Today, IIT Kharagpur has come a long way to its present position of preeminence with eighteen academic departments, eight multidisciplinary centers, a School of Management, a School of Telecommunications and several sophisticated central facilities. It is the largest and most diversified among all the IITs.

In a study sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, it has the highest relative employment productivity index among the IITs and is the top supplier of fresh engineers / technologists to the public and private sector industries. It also ranked first among the IITs in the production of science and engineering Ph.D.’s.

Central Library

The central library is one of the largest, fully automated with most of the resources available online, technical library in the country with a modern electronic library, CDROM networking and Fibre Optic (ATM) LAN with VSAT connectivity. The Central Library heralded library automation in a modest way in mid 1987 with two PCs installed as terminals in Central computing facility (CYBER) of the Institute. These were used on an experimental basis to perform sundry house keeping jobs within the library. Later in 1990, the library acquired minicomputer MAGNUM II (68030) and a book database of one lakh books was created. This was subjected to various manipulations including that of an in-house development of software. This provided a great insight into library automation and inculcated the computer culture amongst the library staff. In 1993, progress of automation was accelerated by acquiring an EISA based 486 computer system. Meteor III with 16 MB RAM and 1.05 GB HDD alonwith other relevant accessories and a popular commercial library software package. The library has a live collection of over 3 lakhs specialised volumes in Science, Technology and Social Sciences (books 1.7 lakhs, text books 31000, 85000 bound volumes of journals, 30000 theses, standards, patents, etc. and is subscribing to around 835 journals). The entire book collection is barcoded and all the in-house functions like acquisition, cataloguing, circulation, etc. are automated. The Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) database is available on campus LAN and Internet. Telnet to and login as search [No password] to access the OPAC.

The changing trend in information storage technology and the availability of CDROM databases necessitated the addition of a new facility named as Electronic Library in 1994 meant for database search (few of the databases available now include Ei Tech Index 1987, IEEE/IEE Full Text 1990-96 in 250 CDROMs, INSPEC 1992-1994, Current Contents on Disc (CCOD) 1991, Chemical Abstracts 1999, Biotechnology Abstracts 1982, ABUI Inform 1989-93, etc., viewing video courses generated by the Centre for Educational Technology, IIT, Kharagpur (15 courses of 540 Hours of video) and Internet surfing.

The library has recently procured and installed two Pentium Pro 166 MHz based servers, and the library automation package is also on the verge of updation. The central library has been consistently utlising Computer and other IT tools for better information organization and services. The computer population in the central library comprised of around 25 high end PCs besides the three sophisticated servers mentioned above. Apart from this, the campus is also housed with over 1000 PCs and a host of special servers. The 22 hour Internet facilities are provided through several leased / VSAT connections on a powerful ATM backbone of 155 Mbps. A CDROM Networking has also been recently commissioned which facilitates the access of the CDROM databases through Campus ATM LAN. Most of the computing facility was developed using Project money from different central funding agencies and annual operating grants from the Institute over the ten years period.

NISSAT-IIT Kharagpur are jointly organising a series of training programs on 'Library Automation' during the current financial year. See NISSAT Manpower Development Advertisement on the 3rd cover for more details.

Visit IIT Kharagpur website at http://www.iitkgp.ernet.in for detailed information