The Anna Centenary Library
(ACL) is a newly established state library of Indian state of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...
. It is located at Kotturpuram
Kotturpuram is a locality in Chennai , Tamil Nadu, India. Located on the south bank of the Adyar River, it is easily identified on satellite maps, being situated on a prominent northward bend of the river. It consists mostly of residences and sports clubs...
Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...
, Tamil Nadu India. Built at a cost of 1,720 million, it is the largest library in South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...
. It is named after the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, C. N. Annadurai
Conjeevaram Natarajan Annadurai , popularly called Anna , or Arignar Anna was a former Chief Minister of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu...
. It is built by the then chief-minister of Tamilnadu, M. Karunanidhi
Muthuvel Karunanidhi is an Indian politician and a former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He is the head of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam , a Dravidian political party in the state of Tamil Nadu. He has been the leader of the DMK since the death of its founder, C. N...
. The average number of persons who visited the library between January and October 2011 is around 26,500, compared to the monthly average of 20,000 in 2010.
Built on 8 acres of land, the 9-floor library building houses a total area of 333,140 sq. ft and has a capacity to accommodate 1.2 million books. ACL has planned to adopt an integrated library management system that includes automated issue and return of books, user smartcards, access controls, Radio Frequency Identification
Radio-frequency identification is a technology that uses radio waves to transfer data from an electronic tag, called RFID tag or label, attached to an object, through a reader for the purpose of identifying and tracking the object. Some RFID tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the...
(RFID) technology and self-check counters. The library is designed to accommodate a total of 1,250 persons; an auditorium of 50,000 sq. ft. with a seating capacity of 1,280, and an amphitheatre
An amphitheatre is an open-air venue used for entertainment and performances.There are two similar, but distinct, types of structure for which the word "amphitheatre" is used: Ancient Roman amphitheatres were large central performance spaces surrounded by ascending seating, and were commonly used...
on the terrace that can accommodate more than 800 persons and two conference halls with capacities of 151 and 30 persons are some of the facilities available. A dedicated children's section, spread over 15,000 sq. ft. has a fun-filled theme-based reading area with multimedia kits and storybooks. The library also boasts a high-tech section for the visually-impaired, with talking books and Braille
The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write, and was the first digital form of writing.Braille was devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, a blind Frenchman. Each Braille character, or cell, is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two...
displays. Parking space exists for about 420 cars and 1,030 two-wheelers. A separate power substation with a capacity of 3,200 kV has been built on the premises. CCTV cameras have been installed in 493 locations in the building. A food court in the building is capable of serving 180 persons at any given point in time. The library was designed by C. N. Raghavendran.
The entrance to the building showcases a 5 ft bronze statue of C.N. Annadurai. The library employs 200 staff, including 96 permanent and 40 contract employees, and has a collection of 550,000 books. It is visited by about 2700 persons every day.
The library has a special section for Braille, children's books and manuscripts etc. The building is designed in such a way that the reading area receives good daylight. The western end is flanked by the service areas to prevent solar radiation. The seven-storey atrium allows in abundant natural light.
- A Braille (with at least 25,000 titles) and talking book section
- Conference hall with a seating capacity of 151 persons
- VVIP lounge
- A 15,000 sq. ft. children's section, holding a comprehensive collection of books as well as computer games
- A periodicals section with various newspapers and magazines
- Books in Tamil
- A seminar hall (with a capacity of 136 persons)
- English nonfiction, covering a wide range of subjects like computer science, philosophy, religion, political science, and sociology
- Language and literature
- Natural sciences (Math, Physics,Chemistry, Biology)
- Food Science
- Veterinary medicine
- Chemical Engineering
- History & Geography
- Rare books
- Palm leaf manuscripts
- Administrative office
- Security office
In October 2010, soon after the inauguration, the library placed an order involving 35,174 books worth £1.275 million with the Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...
(CUP), resulting in the biggest sale in CUP's history to an academic library in India and the biggest invoice CUP has ever issued – at 2,794 pages long.
A single order worth a million euros was placed with the world's largest publisher of books, Springer, which publishes in the fields of science, technology and medicine.
Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State had lauded the library during her visit to Chennai on 20 July 2011.
On 2 November 2011, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha announced that the library will be converted into a super-specialty pediatric hospital. However, on a petition filed against this move, the Madras High Court ordered on 4 November 2011 that the shifting should be stayed and asked the government to submit an answer within 6 weeks. Scholars, Poets, Professors, Research Scientists, Professionals, Students and people of Chennai have since been actively participating in an online campaign titled "Save Anna Centenary Library Campaign