The minister for Culture and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja has said that digitization of rare books and other material is done selectively taking into account copyright and other issues. It is a part of the Annual Action Plan of the National Library, Kolkata. No article from the rare books division of the National Library has been reported to be lost or stolen in the last decade.
As a written reply in the Rajya Sabha she said “Under the third phase of digitization project 20,00,000 pages that is around 6000 books are envisaged to be digitized at a cost of about Rs. 35 lakhs in next seven months. The National Library has been accorded special status of an institution of national importance in the Article 62 in the Seventh Schedule of the Union List of the Constitution of India. There is no other National Library in the country”.
Recently, some steps were under taken improve the functioning of National Library, Kolkata. They include access to full text electronic journals, availability of library's catalogue on the web and high speed internet connectivity for the readers. However, some of the new proposals are under consideration in the 12th Five Year Plan.
The National Library has been promising easier and wider access to electronic journals and on-line databases as the ICT infrastructure was in place. The web-OPAC now has around 850000 records, including books in foreign languages, bound journals, and maps.