Nearly 5 lakh titles have been finalised for the Anna Centenary Library coming up at Kotturpuram.
About one lakh titles in Tamil, including 35,000 rare publications, as many as 1,88, 643 titles in English, and nearly 1.5 lakh books such as novels and self-help books will occupy the shelves of the library.
“The English books will cover the ‘A to Z' of topics, right from agriculture to zoology,” said a senior official involved in the project.
“For books on engineering, we took the help of seven top-notch institutions. The Indian Institutes of Technology - Madras and Kanpur, Anna University in Chennai, VIT University in Vellore, National Institute of Technology in Tiruchi, PSG College of Technology in Coimbatore and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore,” he said. Similarly, medical colleges with extensive library facilities were being contacted, he added.
While the initial budget allocated for the procurement of books was Rs. 40 crore, the expenses on books purchased have nearly doubled now.
On the number of books collected by the University of Madras through students, sources said that about 3.5 lakh titles had been collected.
“However, we might not be able to accommodate all of them. We have asked them to catalogue them after which we will decide. Some books will make it to the Kotturpuram library while the others would be sent to other city libraries.”
The Directorate of Public Libraries is holding talks with the Helen Keller Institute to work out an arrangement to have books translated into Braille or into audio format.
On the status of the building, sources said that 28 companies were involved in the interiors of the building alone, and work was going on swiftly. “There is no question of declaring the building open and still permitting construction work. So we want to complete the entire project before it is open for the public,” the official said, adding that the building was likely to be declared open only after a month or two.