Saturday, October 29, 2011


The Anna Centenary Library (ACL) is a newly established state library of Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located at Kotturpuram in Chennai, Tamil Nadu India. Built at a cost of INR 1,720 million, it is the largest library in South Asia.[1] It is named after the former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, C. N. Annadurai. Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State had lauded the library during her visit to Chennai on 20 July 2011.

Built over a massive area of 3.75 lakh sq ft in Kotturpuram, the state PWD has spent about Rs 180 cr on this. This library has been built to house 1.20 million books. Madras University alone has donated 3.75 lakhs books to this library. The library will have books on all major languages, besides providing access to two lakh ‘e-books’ and 20,000 ‘e-journals’.

The ACL will not only be networked to all other public libraries across the state led by the famous Connemara Public Library in Chennai, but will also accommodate the country’s oldest manuscript library here called ‘The Oriental Manuscripts Library’, officials said. The latter is now housed in the Madras University Library complex.

A “very special feature” of the ACL is that it would straightaway have a digital edge, being a partner of the World Digital Library (WDL) project, says Thennarasu, the Education Minister, Government of Tamilnadu. This will give it access to primary sources of knowledge of countries and cultures across the globe. So far, the Allama Iqbal Library of the University of Kashmir is the only library in the country connected to the WDL network.

 The library include a Braille section for the visually impaired, a captivating separate section for children’s books with a huge replica of the “Tree of Knowledge” rooted in its heart, a 1,280-capacity auditorium.

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 1,300 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.

Ground floor

    * A Braille (with at least 25,000 titles) and talking book section
    * Conference hall with a seating capacity of 151 persons
    * VVIP lounge

First floor

    * 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

Second floor

    * Books in Tamil
    * A seminar hall (with a capacity of 136 persons)

Third floor

    * English nonfiction, covering a wide range of subjects like computer science, philosophy, religion, political science, and sociology

Fourth floor

    * Economics
    * Law
    * Education
    * Language and literature

Fifth floor

    * Natural sciences (Math, Physics,Chemistry, Biology)
    * Medicine

Sixth floor

    * Engineering
    * Agriculture
    * Food Science
    * Veterinary medicine
    * Management
    * Chemical Engineering
    * Arts
    * History & Geography

Seventh floor

    * Rare books
    * Antiques
    * Palm leaf manuscripts

Eight floor

    * Administrative office
    * Security office


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