National Law School of India University, Bangalore launched its redeveloped Shri Narayan Rao Melgiri Memorial National Law Library ahead of its recently concluded 31st Convocation.
The revamped library was inaugurated by Founding President of JSW School of Law, Bhutan and President of the Bar Council of Bhutan and of the Bhutan National Legal Institute Sonam Dechan Wangchuck as well as Chief Justice of India Dr. DY Chandrachud, who is the Chancellor of NLSIU.
Also in attendance were Bar Council of India Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra and Infosys Foundation's Sudha Murthy, with whose assistance the library was first established in 2005.
The library, which could formerly accommodate about 250 people at a time, has now been expanded to seat 600 persons across its 3 floors and terrace. This initiative, which began in the academic year 2022-23, is aimed at improving accessibility with increased use of devices, a revamped display and storage features, according to a press release.
The new library is organized into zones adapted to various uses.
Phase I of the library redevelopment included the following:
a) The Lower Ground Floor (LGF) is meant to be the informal, social space of the library. The Student Bar Association (SBA) common room and common areas for students are located here, along with the library’s light reading/fiction section.
b) The Ground Floor (GF) houses user seats, the reference section, dedicated research areas, meeting rooms and a dedicated room for persons with disabilities (PwDs). Books on social science topics are located on this floor, along with spaces for displays and exhibits.
c) The First Floor (FF) is intended for quiet reading and working and houses books on legal topics, workstations and an enclosed quiet reading room for users.
All floors of the library have been laid with tactile pathways to allow for independent navigation for PwDs. The library lift offers access to all floors. A designated room on the Ground Floor is equipped with Braille printers, JAWS Talking Reader, desktop magnifiers, smart readers and an Online Daisy Player.
3. Terrace area
The library’s terrace areas have now been made accessible to users, and have been set up with furniture for working and small meetings
4. Access to books/journals
The Library’s collection of print volumes has been split between closed stacks (compactors) and open stacks (display bookshelves).
All out-of-copyright books and documents are being scanned and uploaded to the internet archive, where they will be accessible by the public. The University completed digitising 25,000 volumes in June 2023 and access to the same have been given to visually impaired students so far, with plans to extend the digital lending platform to all students shortly.
The library’s extensive digital materials will be available here.