Kanika Library and Ravenshaw Knowledge Centre (RKC)
Kanika Library, the biggest and oldest library in the State and the central library of Ravenshaw University which is very close to the hearts of Oriya intellectuals, is all set for upgradation at par with reputed university libraries of the country.
Kanika Library, located in an area of 9,000 sq ft was opened in the year 1922 by Lt Governor of Bihar and Orissa. Maharaja of Kanika Sri Rajendra Narayan Bhanjadeo had generously donated Rs 55,000 for its construction, which stands today as a beautiful piece of architecture. In his honour the library was christened as Kanika Library, and now prompt steps are being taken to revive its lost glory.
When the erstwhile Ravenshaw College became a University in 2006, the library was in dire straits. Many old and torn books, rare journals including back issues of the college magazine ‘The Ravenshavian’ were bundled up and dumped at a corner in gunny bags. At the outset, all the old issues of The Ravenshavian were digitally scanned and uploaded in PDF format on the university website www.ravenshawuniversity.ac.in. Now one can easily read hundreds of pages of the historic magazine dating back to the 1920s and 1930s, which has been a chrysalis for many major writers of twentieth century Orissa, with the click of a mouse.
Apart from complete renovation and interior decoration of the old building of Kanika Library and declaring it a heritage structure, the existing library facilities are being gradually upgraded and automated. Steps are being taken to fully mechanize the Kanika Library and turn it into a knowledge paradise for students, teachers and scholars for studies and research.
The library is being made completely web-based and around 100 computers are going to be installed for the purpose. The library is being made user-friendly to the students so that they can have easy access to information available on the web and also view and print out pages of library books which are being uploaded on the server through campus networking.
Kanika Library already boasts of more than two lakh books and journals, and grand plans are being made to update the library with more books and international journals. Moreover, digitization of old books and rare manuscripts are being done and uploaded on the web server so that they will not easily perish.
The library has already incorporated a digital book and music section which boasts of around 80,000 e-books categorized in different sections like Text and Reference Books, Encyclopedias and Dictionaries, Magazines and Journals, and General Books, and a music section with around 1,00,000 songs under different categories like Western Classical, Hindustani Classical, Carnatic Classical, Contemporary Western Music, Regional Music with a massive collection of Oriya, Hindi and Bengali songs, along with a huge collection of Audio Books. The digital book and music library is certainly the first of its kind in the whole country.
In a bid to strengthen library facilities, a Ravenshaw Knowledge Centre (RKC), with Kanika Library as its nucleus, has been established with the appointment of a full-time director, Mr. Chandrashekariah Ramaswamy, who is instrumental in setting up of more than 200 state-of-the-art libraries and knowledge centres all over the country. He is looking after online subscription to reputed knowledge databases like Ebsco, Proquest, Wiley-Inter Science, Springerlink, etc and tie-ups with reputed educational institutions, universities and research organizations to facilitate access to their databases. He is also taking steps to build an efficient and competent team of IT professionals to develop the centre in an innovative way in order to ensure effective dissemination of information and prompt delivery of knowledge services.
The RKC has also set up a publication division to publish a fortnightly newsletter ‘The Ravenaissance’. The division will also take care of all publication work of the University.