Allahabad library makes it to coveted World of Learning list

The historic Allahabad Public Library has achieved a rare recognition by finding a place in the famous reference

Written by Prashant Pandey | Allahabad | Published: June 17, 2013 4:20 am

The historic Allahabad Public Library has achieved a rare recognition by finding a place in the famous reference book — Europa World of Learning. The inclusion will first appear in the book’s edition in 2014.

The UK-based Europa series’ publishers Routledge (Taylor and Francis Group) confirmed the institution’s listing through a letter to the Allahabad Public Library. The institution would be listed under the “Libraries and Archives” section.

Founded in 1864,the British-era library,located in Chandra Shekhar Azad Park,houses over 1.02 lakh volumes and an enviable collection of official documents,including gazettes,blue books (important administrative documents from the British period) and Parliamentary papers.

Librarian Gopal Mohan Shukla said that the representatives of the Europa World of Learning had visited the institution about a year ago. “They did not ask for anything from us. They assessed the collection and services on offer and seemed impressed,” he said.

While the huge and rare collection may have impressed the assessors,the Library’s overhaul of sorts over the past couple of years also seemingly played a role in getting the institution a place in one of the most comprehensive international reference books.

The Europa publications include The Europa World Year Book,The Europa Regional Surveys of the World and The International Who’s Who among others.

The reference book will read the institution’s description as one that can be approached for “old government publications,Parliamentary papers and blue books of the 19th century,old manuscripts and journals; reference and research service”.

“It feels good that the reference book,which I read about as a student of Bachelor of Library Science,now has the name of the institution I am in charge of,” said Shukla.

Administered by the Department of Higher Education,the library did not have a librarian for about 10 years until Shukla came in 2008-09. Since then,he has been trying to streamline everything and make the library a more vibrant place,though it runs on virtually a shoe-string budget.

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