National Library of Pakistan
|Type||Research and Depositary|
Reconstituted in 1993
|Location||Constitution Avenue, Islamabad, Pakistan|
|Items collected||~200,000 catalogued books in the Library system 580 hand written ancient manuscripts and over 10,000 key text on the history of Urdu, Arabic, Persian, and English languages; 55,836 book on science and technology; ~40,000 bound volumes of newspapers and periodicals|
|Access and use|
|Circulation||Library does not publicly circulate|
|Population served||442 members of the Parliament of Pakistan, their staff, and members of the public|
Ch. Muhammad Nazir|
Chief National Librarian
The National Library of Pakistan (Urdu:قومى کتب خانہ پاکستان), is the national and the research library located in the vicinity of the Constitutional Avenue, Islamabad, Pakistan. American author, Stuart Murray, argues that it is the oldest cultural institutional that plays a leading role in providing the resource for information— ancient and new.
Established in 1951, it was originally housed in the secretariat of Ministry of Education (MoEd) and amalgamated with the Liaquat National Library (LNL); it was shifting in Islamabad in 1965 with MoEd's secretariat serving its purpose. In 1962, the Library received the right of transference of all copyrighted works to have two copies deposited of books, maps, illustrations and diagrams printed in Pakistan. It gained more significance in 1992 with the promulgation of copyright (amendment) act 1992. During the 1971 war, the library was thinned with the creation of Bangladesh with key material transferring to Bangladesh. After a period of slow growth in its reconstruction, the library began to enlarge its size and importance in the country. Development culminated in 1980s of an expensive and separated national library building within the vicinity of the Supreme Court's library.
Designed with Eastern architecture, the library has space for 500 readers as well as 15 research rooms, a 450-seat auditorium, and computer and microfilm services. At its opening in 1993, the library owned a collection of 130,000 volumes and 600 manuscripts. Clauses to include electronic publications, as deposit material, are also being added to the Copyright law. The national library mission to promote literacy as well serving as a dynamic cultural and educational center for the state's capital– the Islamabad.
Authorization for a national library can be traced back to 1949, although it did not gain any physical infrastructure until it was merged with the existing Liaquat Memorial Library in Karachi and renamed the Liaquat National Library. In 1967 the library began receiving copies of works published in Pakistan as part of its mandate as a copyright repository per the 1962 copyright ordinance. 1968 saw the separation of the Liaquat and National libraries, with the latter relocated to Islamabad along with Pakistan's capitol. The library was housed in a series of rented structures until construction of a permanent building was completed in 1988. The formal opening took place on 24 August 1993. Scholar Syed Jalaluddin Haider dates the library's existence later, to April 1999, when the 100,000-volume collection housed by the Department of Libraries was moved into the new building.
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- Muhammad Waris, Bhatti. 2014. "National Library of Pakistan as Legal Depository." Pakistan Library & Information Science Journal 45, no. 1: 18-23.
- Haider, Syed Jalaluddin; Mahmood, Khalid (2007). "MPhil and PhD library and information science research in Pakistan: an evaluation". Library Review. 56 (5): 407–417. doi:10.1108/00242530710750590.