Digital transition Society

Hyderabad’s British Council Library dons an e-avatar

A file photo of British Council Library premises

A file photo of British Council Library premises   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

The library also plans to open a mobile app version of the digital library by June-end

The British Council Library in Hyderabad has shut its physical space on Road No. 36 in Jubilee Hills but has opened a new page by shifting online. The move aims to leverage digital technology to create meaningful interactions online. With this, the physical libraries in Bengaluru, Pune, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh, in addition to Hyderabad, make a digital transition. Four years ago, it moved to its present location in Jubilee Hills from its earlier location on the Secretariat Road where it had commenced operations in 1979.

Antonius Raghubansie, Director, Learning Services, British Council India, through an email interaction, elaborates on reasons for this digital transition and what book lovers can expect from this digitisation.

The British Council Library in Hyderabad has been a hub of literature and cultural activities. Why is it shutting down its physical space and moving online?

Our growth strategy for the next five years identifies, as a priority, the need for the British Council to continue to build stronger connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and India. We do this by creating opportunities for young people in India to succeed in a globalised world. We know that digital access is increasing rapidly and that young people are a digital-first generation. We want our focus to be on scale and a high-quality online experience for customers, with digital and mobile at the heart of what we do.

This means our physical library offer in Hyderabad will now become a fully online offer, supplemented with programming and partnership activities relevant to our audience. Our ongoing commitment to work with state governments remains unchanged.

Tell us more about the digital collection

Our digital offer will bring the best of UK education, arts and culture to a much larger audience beyond our physical locations. We have invested in increasing and strengthening our digital offer so that our customers can access a vast range of educational and entertainment resources online.

A file photo of the premises

A file photo of the premises   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

What are your plans on launching a mobile version of the digital library?

The mobile app version of the digital library will be launched at the end of June, for both Android and iOS platforms. That will offer a seamless and interactive customer journey which pulls together our content in one place and allows members to build their own library collection.

What happens to the annual reading challenge held at the Library?

We are moving the annual reading challenge event online for the first time this year, with the available titles added to the Digital Library.

What would be the other initiatives?

Our physical centre in Hyderabad will become a state-of-the-art, computer-based testing centre for IELTS and other UK qualifications, managed by BC Examinations and English Services India Pvt Ltd. The demand for UK examinations, including IELTS, continues to grow and this change will provide many more young people with the opportunity to access internationally recognised qualifications as a route towards international mobility for work or study, and to improve their employability.

Overall, we aim to provide more opportunities for young Indians to engage with the UK through our services and programmes, accessible digitally to more people across India. We will continue to engage with state governments and partners and build on the large scale, high impact work in English, education and arts.

(Library members can have more details of the online library resources at https://www.britishcouncil.in/library/online-library)

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Printable version | Jul 13, 2020 11:18:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/hyderabads-british-council-library-dons-an-e-avatar-and-plans-to-open-a-mobile-app-version-of-the-digital-library-by-june-end/article31876117.ece

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