Report No. 3 of 2010 - Performance Audit of National Library, Union Government, Ministry of Culture

Date on which Report Tabled:
Tue 03 Aug, 2010
Date of sending the report to Government
Government Type
Union Department
Sector General Sector Ministries and Constitutional Bodies


The National Library of India aims at preserving the cultural heritage of India through acquisition and conservation of all significant material produced and printed in India also foreign material required by the country. The library also renders bibliographical and documents services of current and retrospective material and also assists in research in various fields of knowledge. It also serves as a permanent repository of all reading materials produced in India and concerning India, wherever published. It functions under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. A performance audit of the Library was conducted covering the period from 2003-04 to 2007-08.

The performance audit revealed that due to weak internal controls, absence of work norms and lack of automation, the Library has not been able to keep pace with the times in providing efficient readership services to the people. The quality of readership services provided by the National Library does not meet the requirement of modern-day readers. No centralized digital catalogue exists to enable efficient direct search.

The preservation and conservation practices of the Library are old and inadequate to preserve and protect the life of the precious books. Rare books and manuscripts in the library are not documented and accessioned properly, making them vulnerable to loss and theft. Periodic physical verification of the books is not conducted and therefore the actual number of books/documents in the possession of the library is not known. The digitization of books remained incomplete for want of supervision and monitoring. Out of an estimated 25 lakh books in the library, in the last nine years, the Library could digitize only 9141 books.

The Library is not well equipped and prepared for emergency situations like fire etc. to face emergency fire incidents. The fire extinguishers, mounted in different locations of the Library, had not been serviced and recharged for over five years. Security arrangements in the library are not adequate.

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