The public libraries and local libraries in India play a vital role in creating readers and enabling enthusiasts to read. Many students and readers still visit libraries regularly to access printed copies or hard copies of a wide range of books, materials, and resources. But the number of readers switching from conventional libraries to online or digital libraries has been increasing consistently. Many people these days doubt the relevance of conventional libraries in a digitized world.
According to the Times of India,
“Preserving the books, providing information and space for reading has been the very purpose of libraries for ages. But today, at a time when information is at the disposal of the users around the clock through digital modes – are libraries still relevant, and should resource be spent on libraries. One cannot debate the fact that a visit to the library is on a decline.”
In India, many libraries have already started converting traditional print resources into digital resources. Likewise, many schools, colleges, and universities have already set up digital libraries that allow readers to access materials and resources in varying digital formats – ebooks, PDF documents, static images, infographics, audiobooks, video, journals, quizzes, and simulations. We have prepared this list of digital libraries in India to make it easier for students and readers to access the desired content without putting in extra time and effort.
An Attempt to Prepare a Comprehensive List of Digital Libraries in India
National Digital Library of India (NDLI)
The Government of India has launched the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) with the aim to make online resources and materials available to students from primary to postgraduate levels. The students currently have the option to access over 58000000 online resources in many Indian languages. Also, they can find the relevant learning resources by initiating searches based on important criteria like type, subject, and source. The NDLI has been collaborating with top digital libraries across the world to enable students to study at home by accessing additional and high-quality content.
Universal Digital Library
The Universal Digital Library was launched as part of the Million Book Project. It aims to collect and preserve the artistic, literary, and scientific works of mankind in digital format. At present, students and readers can visit the Universal Digital Library online to access millions of books scanned and cataloged by the team. The readers can use the advanced search options included on the website to find relevant information in seconds. Also, they have the option to browse through the collection of ebooks and digital resources. They can do that using important criteria like the book title, author, year of publication, subject, and language.
Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB)
As a set of principles and practices, Open Access (OA) makes research output accessible to students and researchers without any cost or restrictions. The Directory of Open Access Books is developed with the aim to make open access books accessible to researchers instantly and seamlessly. A researcher can find the relevant open access book using either the advanced search option or browsing the resources using parameters like title, subject, and publishers. At the same time, academic publishers can enhance the discoverability of their open access books by providing metadata. The students can access and read the content from DOAB without any restrictions. But they have to follow the licensing guidelines to reuse the content for any purpose.
The non-profit digital library allows readers to access a wide range of online content for free. The users can access the Internet Archive to find information and content by searching over 525 billion web pages. Also, they can access books, videos, audio, images, and web pages from some of the popular online sources. Some of these sources are Universal Libraries, American Libraries, Canadian Libraries, Children’s Library, Project Gutenberg, and Community Texts. Internet Archive makes it easier for readers to find relevant content by organizing digital books by language.
British Council Online Library
As an international organization, the British Council has been promoting cultural relationships and creating educational opportunities in many countries, including India. In addition to helping Indians to learn English, British Council also allows members to access an online library. An individual can access the online library hosted by British Council by becoming a digital library member. The digital library membership enables individuals to read and download a wide variety of digital content – ebooks, e-journals, e-magazines, e-newspapers, audiobooks, games, and school resources. Also, the members can stream live concerts, watch theatre performances, and access music documentaries 24 hours a day.
Delhi University Library System (DULS)
Delhi University Library System (DULS) makes over 37 libraries in its fold accessible to a wider academic community over the internet. The students, teachers, and research scholars can access digital content stored in 63 high-quality electronic databases using the campus network. However, the students who are studying in other universities still lack the option to access and leverage DULS. The students and research scholars studying in colleges under Delhi University can access and borrow a variety of digital content using membership generated electronically.
In the post-pandemic world, libraries have been converting materials and resources from hard copies to digital copies consistently. Similarly, many educational and academic institutions have been setting up online libraries using digital library solutions. That is why; the list of digital libraries in India is being expanded regularly. The steady increase in the number of digital libraries in India enables readers to access the content of varying types and in varied formats remotely and seamlessly over the internet.
Mintbook is one of the major providers of cloud-based digital library solutions that specifically cater to the Indian learning systems. It allows readers to access over one million digital resources in a variety of formats – eBooks, PDF documents, audio, video, infographics, images, quizzes, and simulations. Also, the digital library is developed by combining content from over 100 publishers in more than 10 languages. The learners can access the digital library on both computers and mobile devices. Likewise, educational institutions can boost the learning experience of students by integrating the digital library solution with learning management systems (LMS) and virtual classroom software. Mintbook has also been helping many public libraries to go digital.
You can get in touch with eLearning experts to create a custom digital library suited to your custom needs.