4.1     DELNET

            1. Introduction

              2. Objectives

              3. Membership

              4. DELNET Activities/Services

              5. The Future of DELNET


           1. Objectives

           2. Present Status

             3. Library Network

             4. CALIBNET Services/Activities

             5. Immediate Focus


             1. Introduction

            2. Objective

            3. Functions

            4. Major activities

            5. Membership

4.4  MALIBNET (Madras Library Network)

           1. Introduction

           2. Aims & Objectives

           3. Activities/Services

           4. Membership






The chapter includes major library networks, viz. DELNET, CALIBNET, INFLIBNET and MALIBNET, operating in the country. All these networks provide various services, and their activities extend from automation of library activities to specialized services intended for their members and interested users.


4.1     DELNET


  1. Introduction                                                                                                                                 Top
  2. Delhi is growing as a major centre of information resources in India. These resources cater both to the specialized and the general users. They are located in activities, information and documentation centres, institutional libraries, research libraries, government libraries, public libraries, department libraries besides the libraries of the universities, colleges and schools. During the recent years, increase in information has led to increase in the demands of the users. It has been noticed that in this area of information explosion, libraries in India are generally ill-equipped to handle and retrieve information effectively, the financial resources and the space requirement for housing library collection are limited in almost all of the libraries. No a single library can afford to house every necessary document even in the area of its interest. Resource sharing, thus assumes great importance at this juncture the option left with the forward looking librarians has been to promote the sharing of resources by automation and networking. With this objective, in January 1988, the India International Centre initiated efforts for the establishment of Delhi Library Network (Now Developing Library Network).

    DELNET is the first operational library network in India. It was started as a project of the India International Centre in January 1988 with the initial, financial and technical assistance by National Information System for Science and Technology (NISSAT), Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Govt. of India. It was registered as a society in June 1992 under the Societies Registration Act of 1860 and is currently being promoted by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), Planning Commission, Govt. of India and India International Centre, New Delhi.


  3. Objectives                                                                                                                         Top

The following are DELNET’s main objectives:


3.     Membership


At present, DELNET has Two Hundred and Forty Three libraries as its members, including both institutional and associate-institutional members: in India 235 and outside India 8.

Fees Details: Following are the fees details for its members

Admission Fee   :  Rs.5,000

Institutional membership : Rs.7500/- per year (For libraries with 10,000 or more book collection)

Associate institutional membership  : Rs.10,000/- per year (For libraries with less than 10,000 books)

Overseas Institutions : Admission fee : US $100/-

                                         Annual Membership fee : US $500/-


The membership is progressively increasing and includes universities, diplomatic missions, college, government department, institutions and public libraries. Some institutions from far off places like Shimla, Bhopal, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Lucknow and Pondicherry in India have also joined DELNET as members. DELNET’s membership has increased from 103 in Feb’99 to 243 to date (August, 2001).


4.     DELNET Activities/Services


(I) Promotion of Database Creation

For effective networking, standard bibliographic data should be available in machine readable form with the libraries. So, efforts were made from the very beginning to promote the standardization of databases in the DELNET libraries. Experts were sent to the libraries to solves day-to-day problems. A panel of experts was seeing maintained for this purpose. Regular meetings of the librarians and computer specialists were organized to discuss mutual problems and the areas of cooperation. Nevertheless, there have been some libraries in Delhi that took keen interest in database creation on their own. But the practice of regular meetings for database creation and resource sharing continue. DELNET provides technical assistance to member libraries in the following areas:



II. Resource Sharing

DELNET saved foreign exchange worth Rs. 10 million by rationalizing subscriptions to foreign periodicals during 1991, 1992 and 1993 through resource sharing. This was mainly achieved in the fields of physical science, medical science and agricultural sciences. It is hoped that in the years to come, DELNET would be able to save more foreign exchange for India through sharing of periodical resources. In 1991, a courier service was started on contract basis will a private agency for inter library lending among the participating libraries but it was not very effective. Later, DELNET has introduced its own courier service with the financial help of NIC. The service is well used.


III. Standardization

A standardization committee of DELNET has been meeting from time to time. The standardization committee takes into account the following areas:

It was noticed that colon classification, universal Decimal classification and Dewey Decimal classification were mostly used in Indian libraries and therefore, it would be almost impossible to impose a standard classification scheme on all libraries. It was decided to use Dewey Class Number. As searching by class numbers was done by very few librarians, it was decided that the participating libraries could search by the classification numbers or they could pass on such requests to DELNET central office for necessary action. With regard to the standardization of subject headings and to usage DELNET recommends the use of LCSM. Specialized libraries may use additional thesauri that are available in each major discipline such as social sciences, humanities and science and technology.


IV. Online databases:

DELNET has around twenty databases available online for its users. These are:

Table gives the DELNET databases and their records:










1. Union Catalogue of Books (Record holdings)






2. Union Catalogue of books (MARC) (Record holdings)






3. Union List of Serials






4. Union Catalogue of Serials






5. Database of Periodical Articles






6. Specialists Database






7. Multilingual Books (Sample Database)






8. CD-ROM Database






9. Union List of Video Recording






10. Union List of Sound Recording






11. Urdu Manuscripts Database






12. Union List of Newspapers






13. Database of Theses & Dissertations






14. DEVINSA Database






15. Union List of Serials, Petroleum & Natural Gas






16. Union List of Serials : management Libraries






17. Union Catalogue of Hindi Books






18. National Bibliographic Database Pilot Project







V.     The Other Services


ILL Online

DELNET members can place their inter-library loan requests through our ILL online facility, which is available on the union catalogue of books database. The member requests appear on the main server, which are monitored by DELNET staff at regular intervals and the books are acquired and supplied to the requesting library through the courier. Photocopying charges for journal articles etc. and courier charges for sending books to member libraries outside Delhi are extra.


DELNET has created a Listserv service called DEL-LISTSERV to provide the current awareness service to users and allow the member libraries to receive the latest daily information from the INTERNET automatically in the form of electronic mail. The following listservs have been created and are available online through DELNET:

Book : New Arrivals

This is a new service through internet giving a list of recent publications in all subjects. The service covers education, management and physical sciences. Other subjects can be introduced on demand.

Book Reviews from INTERNET

This is an INTERNET service of reviews of latest published books covering different subjects. The service covers in the field of Arts and Music, INTERNET and military history. From time to time, other subjects will come into this fold.

Current Contents

This service gives the current contents of the latest issues of journals. It is particularly useful for rationalization of periodicals and resources sharing in member libraries.

Index to Hindu

DELNET has started offering Index to Hindu online to its members. Indexed news items are available on the system covering different periods of the Chennai edition. More updates and archival data is being added into the system regularly.


DELNET offers retro conversion facilities to the libraries through specialized agencies and also facilitates the use of modern tools such as CO-ROM’s and online facilities for retro-conversion.

Referral Services

DELNET maintains a referral centre that provides reference facilities to participating libraries. The referral centre also looks after the access to the central databases and monitors access to international databases.

Document Transfer/Copy facilities

DELNET provides the facility for transferring or copying of the documents to its users.

Training Programmes

DELNET conducts training programmes in the use of DELNET services, software, E-mail, AACR II and LC subject headings, Internet, etc. from time to time. Information about future training programmes is available on request.

Lectures and Workshops

DELNET organizes lectures by networking specialists working in different parts of the world. The lectures are open to members, specialists and users in general. DELNET also organizes national workshops, seminars and meets on library networking from time to time. DELNET had organized National Annual convention on Library and Information Networking (NACLIN) in 1998 & 1999.


DELNET publishes a newsletter in order to spread the message and increase the awareness about library networking in India. Through this Newsletter, DELNET communicates to its members the progress, it is making in various fields. The Newsletter is also a forum for communication on the advances, achievements and needs of the libraries and their services.


DELNET provides RENNIC Email facility to its member libraries, which is introduced by National Informatics Centre. This gives them access to both national and international E-mail users and also to INTERNET users. DELNET Email reaches the libraries, institutions and individuals in India as well as abroad having E-mail connection. Email is being used not only for communication between institutions but also for inter-library-loan requests.

Subscription rates for E-mails are as follows:

RENNIC of NIC : Rs. 2750/- per year for 5 MB data transfer

DELNET is providing full INTERNET SLIP/PPP dial up access at a concessional rate of Rs. 8,500/- per annum for Rs. 500 hours of connect time through NIC to the member libraries. Also the shell account facility for INTERNET access is available for Rs.4,000 per annum for 500 hrs of connect time. A number of DELNET member libraries are already availing these facilities. These rates are subject to change by NIC.

DELNET has a web page ( on INTERNET . This enables all INTERNET users the world over to know about DELNET and its activities. The web page also includes a list of Member-libraries along with their E-mail addresses. The Web page is being updated from time to time.


VII     Products

A major breakthrough has been achieved by DELNET with the launch of DELSIS, a powerful library networking software. DELSIS (DELNET System for Information Services) is an integrated modular system, which supports DELNET online databases.

It has been developed by DELNET on a Relational Database management System called BASIC plus, a product of Information Dimension Inc. of USA, which has been provided to DELNET courtesy National Informatics Centre, New Delhi. It handles not only the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) but also has the administrative tools for building up the union catalogues on BASISplus. It provides powerful and extensive facilities for online enquiries for books, serials, biographical details about the specialists and supports the cataloguing of books in Indian languages.

Features of DELSIS:

- DELSIS is a user friendly menu driven package

- Its versatile options allow the users to retrieve the information quickly.

- It contains the modules for Online Public Access Catalogue as well as the modules for the creation of databases e.g. addition, deletion, inserting of records etc.

- The Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) components of DELSIS can meet the needs of the users, irrespective of whether the user has little computer experience or is familiar with using computers to perform various library tasks.


DELNET has released the DEL-WINDOWS version 1.0 after the successful creation and implementation of DELSIS Unix version. It is an efficient tool for creating and retrieving bibliographic databases and catalogues.

DEL-WINDOWS can convert the simple PC into a powerful management information system. Some of the salient features are:

- It is simple and easy to use. The novice library professionals and end users can interact with the software without any prior training.

- It is user-friendly with adequate windows-menus for data inputting and search capabilities.

- It provides the option for creating the bibliographic records either using ECF or the MARC format.


DELNET has opened a new chapter in the information retrieval procedure by devising a new database access mechanism through DELSEARCH. It is an off-line remote database access system through E-mail. It is the first of its kind and is the most economical and user-friendly remote database access system. It helps institutions, information specialists, research scholars, librarians and users interested in bibliographies and tutorial information on South Asia. It allows them to search the DELNET union catalogues through E-mail and is a great tool for research scholars. The software is developed on UNIX platform and allows the users to send their search requests through E-mail. As soon as the query is received by the system in the form of an E-mail, the respective databases are searched for the query word and the results are returned to the addressee immediately. The searching of the database does not require any human intervention and the searches are done by the system automatically.


5. The Future of DELNET                                                                                                              Top

The future of DELNET is very promising. Its membership with India and outside India is going to take a quantum jump. The DELNET databases are growing in number and size and as a variety of information on South Asia is becoming available through DELNET, it is expected that all institutions outside India specializing in South Asian studies to take DELNET membership. DELNET databases are going to be accessible through INTERNET which will made accessibility very fast. INTERNET users in India are increasing and it will increase DELNET presence in different parts of India. DELNET has already created software, viz. DELDOS and DEL-WINDOWS for creating MARC records.

These software will so on be developed to perform library operations as well. There developments are likely to give more revenue to DELNET and provide justification for more and more libraries to join DELNET. As a resource, it is hoped the DELNET will grow faster as a service based resource sharing model in India.


4.2    CALIBNET                                                                                                  Top

It was the first library network visualized and started by NISSAT. At a meeting in 1986 in Calcutta, DSIR initiated action for preparation of a feasibility study for networking about 40 libraries in Calcutta. CALIBNET now is a society under West Bengal Societies Registration Act 1961 and responsible for Calcutta Library Network, a project sponsored and supported by NISSAT. NISSAT also contributed to the development of MAITRAYEE software package based on INGRESS 5.2 for CALIBNET. This package was developed through CMC Ltd. And given to CALIBNET. So far, no data has been created in machine readable from using MAITRAYEE. At present, CALIBNET has become a centre for CD-ROM databases.

1. Objectives                                                                                                                                         Top

CALIBNET has made significant studies towards fulfilling its dual objectives:

Both are essential for advanced learning and scholarship. In the process, CALIBNET aims at covering a wide panorama of information end-user interests, with diffusion of new electronic information technology as the primary concern.


2. Present Status                                                                                                                             Top

Software Developed and Library Network Launched:

Intense in-house research and development efforts have now achieved the Library Network capability by three significant studies:

These apart, CALIBNET’S pioneering study and research led to its publication of the "Guidelines for Implementation of UNIMARC in Indian Libraries". This will be an invaluable aid for the national database development programme under consideration, that favors adoption of UNIMARC format.

With the support of SANJUKTA, the centralized database hosted on CALIBNET server and located at the Network Service Centre, can be accessed and searched online by any one from a remote location, provided one is equipped with a computer, a telephone, a modem and a password from CALIBNET. The efficacy of SANJUKTA has been tested by successful remote logging of the CALIBNET server at Jadavpur, hosting the CDB from a workshop venue at Great Eastern Hotel, Calcutta. Online access to the locational information of bibliographic resources via the CDB and sharing up such resources amongst the libraries of this metropolis is now a reality.

The capability of PARAPAR was established through exercises and tests on sample records furnished by a major library in New Delhi and conducted in-house at Calcutta at their instance and eventually demonstrated at a workshop-cum-meeting in New Delhi.

The Centralised Database

Since library network capability has been established, the most crucial and indispensable activity is to develop the basic resource – the Centralized Database (CDB), that constitute the very backbone of any library network – by inputting the holding data of Calcutta libraries. The centralized database, launched only recently, currently held around 30,000 record covering:-

- conference documents held by Calcutta and contiguous libraries.

- social science management and economics, behavioral sciences, quantitative methods, computer science, etc. including predominantly journals held by management libraries in South Asia libraries of Indian Statistical Institute and the Indian Institute of management, Calcutta and

- Index to contents of serials published by Asiatic Society in previous two centuries.


3. Library Network                                                                                                                             Top

The Centralized Database (CDB) is the bedrock of CALIBNET and its development essentially calls for a cooperative movement, whereby each library par rakes in the movement by contributing its own holdings data to be incorporated in the CDB and thereby enrich it. The CDB needs to be now augmented by inputting holdings data of as many libraries as possible and getting the data continuously updated. Optimum coverage of libraries, which alone will progressively transform the CDB into a truly resourceful online searchable central pool of Calcutta’s bibliographic holding data, is now on with the cooperation of libraries.

The participating libraries

The responses from institutional libraries are very encouraging. The libraries of following institutions have extended co-operation by way of furnishing their respective machine-readable database and current journal subscription lists:

  1. Calcutta University
  2. Jadavpur University
  3. Indian Statistical Institute
  4. Indian Institute of Management
  5. Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibres
  6. Anthropological Survey of India
  7. Botanical Survey of India
  8. Geological Survey of India
  9. Zoological Survey of India
  10. Bengal Engineering College ( a deemed university)
  11. National Atlas and Thematic Mapping Organization
  12. Bose Institute
  13. University College of Medicine (Calcutta University)


These are being now inputted into the CDB. In coming years, holding data of many more libraries are expected to go into the CDB. Priority is being accorded to holding data relating to current journals subscribed and new additions from January 1, 1999.

Electronic Access to Global Information

In addition with its library network programme, CALIBNET has added to itself under to information centre approach, a new dimension that of a purveyor of global information, a phenomenon that now pervades international information market.

With online access to Internet and in-house CD-ROM resources, CALIBNET can explore a wide spectrum of the knowledge base and cooperate and professional enterprises, and meet the information requirements of researchers, academics and other scholars, professional and any other practitioners engaged in a wide gamut of subject interest.


4.    CALIBNET Services/Activities                                                                                                  Top

(i) On-demand Information services

CALIBNET has several attractive information packages:

ConFile, ConAlert and RetroFile, in combination, offers the latest information and advances in the entire spectrum of the subject interest.


A special feature of CALIBNET is the Caliblink, a email connectivity (from its ERNET hub) installed and working fine at four institutions.

(iii) Institutional Resources Development Services :

Some of the key institutional resources development services offered are:

(a) Retrospective conversion of existing card catalogue in libraries into computerized local databases via electronic mode by down loading from international databases;

(b) Consultative services on LIS automation

(c) Manpower development for operating and manning automated LIS environment through a wide range of graded training programmes, and customized courses for individuals or group at client’s site.

(iv) SANJUKTA & PARAPAR Software


A multi-user storage and retrieval software has been developed in-house to support CALIBNET’s Centralised Database and to provide online access from remote locations. SANJUKTA has been designed and implemented by A Mukhopadhyay, Technical Consultant, CALIBNET and his associates based on MOD+, a software he developed earlier to support management of small/medium-size libraries.The software has been developed, using 4 GL Code and designed to provide the user with options and flexibility in generating records, organizing and searching information viewing the search outputs, and interchanging data files with external databases with least manual interference.


A conversion software package, PARAPAR has been developed in CALIBNET to support interchange of bibliographic data between USMARC, UNIMARC and CCF Files and also from non-standard formats to standard ones. Its primary objective is to convert data files, received from the participating libraries in variant formats, into a ISO-2709 compliant implementation through which the files are merged into the centralized Database of CALIBNET.

(v) Guidelines for Implementation of UNIMARC

It has been brought out by CALIBNET to provide the library professionals in India with a working tool for developing their databases in a mutually exchangeable format. The document has been prepared in 1994, based on UNIMARC Manual (1987), by A Mukhopadhyay, Technical Consultant, under a project sponsored by the National Information System for Science and Technology (NISSAT), Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Government of India. The guidelines have made an attempt to take care of the special requirements of the Indian libraries. They are expected to serve the Indian libraries in upgrading their databases to the international standard.


5. Immediate Focus                                                                                                                             Top

(i) Indian Resources Database

Development of Indian Resources Database on historical value covering manuscripts and rare books, and personal collections, has already been initiated with porting on the CDB and index to serials published by Asiatic Society during the last two countries.


The design of CALIBNET web page is complete and is available on the Net . The web page( facilitates access to bibliographic information resources available through hosting of CALIBNET’s centralized database. The CALIBNET web site provides:

  1. Active link to access

and manuscripts.

b.     Varied CALIBNET programs for


4.3     INFLIBNET (INFORMATION AND LIBRARY NETWORK)                                  Top


1. Introduction                                                                                                                              Top

INFLIBNET is an autonomous Inter-University Centre of the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India. It is a major National Programme initiated by the UGC in 1991 with its Head Quarters at Gujarat University Campus, Ahmedabad. Initially started as a project under the IUCAA, it became an independent Inter-University Centre in 1996. INFLIBNET is involved in creating infrastructure, modernizing university libraries for sharing information among academic, information centres and R & D Institutions in India and connecting them through a nation-wide high speed data network using the state-of-art technologies. INFLIBNET is set out to be a major player in promoting scholarly communication among academicians and researchers in India. Major Activities include computerization and automation of libraries and information centres to support modern information service, creation and augmentation of databases to support academic and research work, establishment of a cooperative communication network for linking libraries, information centres and academicians to make optimum use of the resources available at the national level, up-skilling of existing library staff through regular training programmes, seminars, workshops and conventions.

2. Objectives                                                                                                                                  Top

Objectives  of  INFLIBNET are : 

3. Functions                                                                                                                                         Top

In order to fulfill the broad  objectives, INFLIBNET will 


4.     Major activities                                                                                                                      Top

  1. Library Automation
  2. Database Development: INFLIBNET is involved in creation of union databases of Books, Theses, Serials, Experts and Projects. These databases are available for online Access.
  3. Software development
  4. Information Services and Networking

i) Bibliographic Information Services:

  • Online Database Access & Search
  • Sewak
  • CD ROM
  • OCLC's First Search

ii) Document Delivery Services

iii) University Information System

iv) Networking of University Libraries

    5.    Human Resources Development

    6.    Other Activities:


1) Library Automation

 The automation of university libraries is a pre-requisite for networking and resource sharing.  INFLIBNET Centre, through UGC, has been providing the required support to universities in phases.  Till 1999-2000, 123 universities have been given initial grant of Rs. 6.5 lakh each to develop infrastructure for automation. By the end of 9th plan period, rest of the universities will also be included. After installation of the systems, further financial support is provided for the first five years to take care of recurring expenditure. These Libraries on receipt of initial grant sign a Memorandum of Understanding with INFLIBNET. An integrated software for the automation of in-house functions called 'SOUL' has been developed. It has been well received by the University Libraries. SOUL has been installed at 27 libraries. Many more libraries have shown desire to procure and install SOUL.

2) Database Development 

Development of Union databases is one of the major activities of INFLIBNET. Eight databases have been developed and are continuously growing. They pertain to Books, Theses, Serial holdings, Current serials, Experts, Research projects, Secondary serials/CD-ROMs and DDC serials. These are grouped under following two categories.

Bibliographic Databases

Non-bibliographic Databases

Serials Holdings

Research Projects

Current Serials


Secondary Serials Catalogue

University Information System






The bibliographic databases represent the holdings of university libraries, for which the data is contributed by participating libraries. These databases provide an access to large pool of information available besides, serving as tool for resource sharing. Non bibliographic databases are created to promote the communication among the scholars.

3) Software Development

For the automation of in-house functions of participating university libraries, INFLIBNET Centre has developed a user-friendly state of the art GUI based software named ' SOUL' software for University Libraries. This is based on Client/Server Architecture. It uses an robust RDBMS as back end tool.  This works on Windows and Windows NT environment with a number of new features.  

Following utility software developed at the Centre are available to the universities on request.  

  •  To search the data from union databases (OPAC).
  •  Catalogue card generation.
  •  Duplicate checking of records.
  •  Customised software for Books, Theses, Serials.
  •  Data Conversion from Dbase, FoxPro and text file to ISO-2709 format.

SOUL:  Software for University Libraries                                                                                          Top

University libraries are complex entities, having large collections and serving a huge clientele. To carry out various operations in a library effectively, there is a need for automation. Computer and communication technologies have brought revolutionary changes in the information acquisition, processing, storage, retrieval and dissemination. Keeping in view the latest trends in Information Technology (IT), INFLIBNET Center has developed a Windows based Library Management Software "SOUL", which provides total solution for Library Automation. SOUL is designed using Client-Server Architecture which imparts extra strength to storage capacity, multiple access to single database, various levels of security, back up and storage facilities etc. This software has been designed after a comprehensive study of different library related functions practiced in university libraries. It has MS-SQL Server 6.5 RDBMS as the back end. This user- friendly software is quite easy to work with. The software comprises following modules: 

The in-built network feature of the software will allow multiple libraries of the same university to function together as well as access to the distributed databases installed at various university libraries and union catalogue mounted at INFLIBNET using VSAT network. 


4) Information Services and Networking

i) Bibliographic Information Services


a) Online Database Access & Search

INFLIBNET is involved in creation of union databases of Books, Theses, Serials, Experts and Projects. These databases are available for online Access.

Online Access to the Union Databases

All the databases have been mounted on different servers at INFLIBNET. Librarians and scholar community can access these databases. There is no restriction for access. Keeping in view the current trends in information technology and web based access to information, INFLIBNET has developed web interface for online access to all the union databases in 1998 itself, thereby providing access over the INTERNET

Searching Databases

To search the databases hosted by INFLIBNET, one has to have one's computer connected to the Internet with access to WWW and GUI based browser running on it viz. Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer. With this, log on to the the INFLIBNET site at URL: .On reaching the home page on the site, one needs to follow the below given steps:

b) Off-line/E-mail Access to INFLIBNET Databases 

INFLIBNET Centre has mounted a variety of bibliographic databases on the Internet. Persons having Internet connectivity can access these databases on-line by logging on to INFLIBNET’s web site at URL On the other hand, persons having only e-mail facility could till now only send their queries through e-mail to INFLIBNET, which were manually processed at the Centre and replies were sent back through e-mail. This was a time consuming exercise. Now, INFLIBNET Centre has developed a software tool called SEWAK, which automatically processes queries received through e-mail and sends back replies. This mode of search scores over the on-line search in view of : 

Reduced Internet access time: A user simply shoots a query and relaxes. He/she need not spend large amount of Internet time on searching through the databases to get the results. SEWAK does the searching on behalf of the user, saving his/her time and money. 

Multiple queries: A user can send multiple queries at a time through e-mail. SEWAK conducts the needful searches and sends back results to the user. This is not possible in on-line searches. 

Multiple Users:  A number of users in a particular location having only one e-mail address can send their respective queries and receive individual results. 

Thus SEWAK truly serves the users, saving their precious time and money. 


c) CD-ROM Database 

INFLIBNET Centre has been subscribing to quite a few Bibliographic Databases in CD-ROM/Floppies covering different subjects. These have been subscribed with a view to provide Bibliographic Information Service on the topics of interest to the faculty members and researchers working in the universities and colleges. List of such databases currently available with INFLIBNET is given below.

To make an effective use of these databases, it has been decided to promote this service to the faculty members and researchers at the national level. To begin with, this service is provided free of cost. Interested users may send in their requests in a prescribed format through the Librarian. The search output will be provided in a floppy or through Email wherever possible.

List of Databases subscribed at INFLIBNET:

Following CD-ROM based databases are also available at INFLIBNET, which are being frequently used for database creation work.

  • BNB: British National Bibliography, Current file, 1986 to 1999
  • OCLC: Recent Books 1999
  • OCLC: Old Books 1999
  • OCLC: Serials 1999
  • OCLC: Authority file 1999
  • CDMARC: Subject Heading 1996
  • CDMARC: Names 1996
  • CDMARC: Holdings 1996

These can also be used for providing the required information to the Universities.


d) COPSAT Service (Contents of Periodicals in Science and Technology)  

The Contents of Periodicals in Science and Technology is a service provided by INFLIBNET in collaboration with National Centre for Science Information (NCSI), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. It is basically a Current Awareness Service provided every month covering more than 4000 top ranking journals in the area of life sciences, physical sciences, chemical and earth sciences, engineering, computing technology, agricultural and environmental sciences. Besides contents, most of the journals covered by this service also contain author abstracts. This service allows one to select upto 40 (depending upon the output medium opted) titles from wide range of 4000 journals and subscribe as one set at an affordable price. One can subscribe to more than one set and it is open for both individuals and institutions for academic and research purposes.


  e) OCLC’s First Search

The On-line Computer Library Centre Inc. is a not-for-profit largest leading network and bibliographic utility for libraries in the world, linking more than 26,000 libraries from 64 countries. The OCLC offers number of services to its member users over the network. The prominent and highly used ones are union catalogues, ILL and First Search Service. In the recent past, OCLC has introduced number of new services over the Internet, making available services cheaper, faster and widely available.

FirstSearch is an economically priced on-line bibliographic service that offers a comprehensive collection of over 85 databases and includes links to the WWW. It offers online full text, document delivery, library holdings and Inter-Library-Loan services. There is no charge for database connect time, record displays, record printing or record delivery by email. The databases covered are the ones that are highly used and important ones from the academic and research point of view. These 85 databases represent all major areas.

The INFLIBNET which aims to supplement the existing information services in the country in a cost-effective manner, has recently started helping universities by subscribing to OCLC's FirstSearch Service. This service enables INFLIBNET to provide the FirstSearch Service to all its funded universities, to begin with in an off-line mode. The user of library will have to send the request for literature search along with keywords etc. to the INFLIBNET. INFLIBNET will access the databases, conduct the search and download the records and send it to the requested libraries. Only requests routed through the libraries will be accepted. Charges are borne by INFLIBNET to begin with. It may please be noted that, only bibliographical information will be provided under this service and will be restricted to the databases covered through this service. This service is launched on an experimental basis by the INFLIBNET.


ii)  Document Delivery Service

Due to ever increasing subscription cost of learned journals, decreasing value of the Indian rupees against major foreign currencies and the stagnant library budgets, INFLIBNET has launched the Document Delivery Service to make optimum use of the existing collection of some of our resourceful libraries in support of academic and research work in the universities in the country.

The Document Delivery Service is a new service initiated by INFLIBNET in collaboration with the following six university libraries which are well known for their strong collection base and commitment to provide timely service.

Under this service, the above mentioned six university libraries will serve as Document Delivery Centres and deliver, on demand, the copies of papers from learned journals, conference proceedings and other materials available in their collection at nominal cost. The role of INFLIBNET here is mainly to act as a catalyst in promoting this service to the academic and research community in India.   


iii) University Information System

INFLIBNET has created home pages for a number of Universities, giving entire information about each university with focus on academic and research activities. These are Developed by INFLIBNET CENTRE based on the data sent by the respective Universities :

iv) Networking of University Libraries

Currently libraries funded under the programme are advised to subscribe to one of the following networks, depending on the availability  in the  respective locations:- 

  • VSNL
  • Other ISPs

    Wide Area Network:    

   Local Area Network :    


5) Human Resources Development

Following training courses are conducted to enhance the skills of University Library staff for implementation of  INFLIBNET Programme:


6) Other Activities

i) Publications

INFLIBNET centre has been bringing out the following publications on regular basis. 

CALIBER Proceedings

Topics covered in these proceedings are contemporary, covering major areas of librarianship viz. Library Automation, Library Networking, Database Management, Impact of Information Technology to library and Information Centres, Changing role of Library professionals and future role of libraries in INTERNET environment. These volumes will be valuable resource for library professionals who would like to keep up to date with recent development in the field

Union Catalogue of Secondary Serials

This union catalogue of Secondary Serials is the first publication in the series of publications been brought out  by INFLIBNET Centre. This covers 337 unique titles which includes 99 CD-ROM based Secondary Serials titles. This data has been contributed by 106 universities, covering for the period of 1998. The catalogue provides list of titles along with minimum bibliographic information and library codes. The same is being updated for 1999

 Guidelines for Data Capturing (a user manual)

To maintain consistency and quality in databases prepared by the libraries and INFLIBNET, INFLIBNET Centre had constituted a taskforce consistency experts in this area. This task force has brought out a 100 pages documents entitled GUIDELINES FOR DATA CAPTURING : A USER MANUAL. This document is prepared based on Common Communication Format (CCF) , 1992 edition and same has been given to participating libraries for adoption. The task force also studied other standards required for this activity and accordingly recommended that the following

may also be used

ii) Disussion Forum

INFLIBNET Centre proposes to start a Discussion Forum on the network for various subjects. The first Disussion Forum already started is regarding the SOUL Software developed by INFLIBNET Centre and installed at a number of Universities. The users of SOUL or anyone else interested in SOUL can make use of this Forum to seek clarifications on SOUL.

iii) Installation of SOUL at 27 Universities by INFLIBNET

Library Management software SOUL, developed by INFLIBNET Centre, has been installed at 27 University Libraries. Teams of INFLIBNET visited these universities for installation of SOUL and for providing online training.

iv) Launching of electronic document delivery service by INFLIBNET

INFLIBNET has taken a new initiative by launching an innovative service called Electronic Document Delivery Service. This service was launched in the month of July 2000, simultaneously by following six university libraries, which are identified to serve as Document Delivery Centres.

Under this service the above Document Delivery Centres will provide copies of research papers appearing in learned journals, conference proceedings etc. from their available collection to academic and research community at an affordable cost. This service is preferably going to be delivered using Internet. The required infrastructure viz. Computer connected to Internet, scanner, printer, fax, etc. are being set up at each Centre. The end users and libraries using e-mails can request for the research papers. The service is primarily targeted at the academic and research communities in the country who currently have very limited access to the information available in very few select libraries. All these libraries have been provided with a minimum grant to support the infrastructure facilities. With this service, it would be possible to optimally use available resources in the country.

v) Retro-Conversion of five major libraries by INFLIBNET                                                     Top

The Retrospective conversion of five major library catalogues has been launched under the INFLIBNET Programme from June 2000. This is a new project initiated by INFLIBNET to minimize the effort & cost involved in retrospective conversion work of its member libraries. Under this project, following five libraries, who have the largest and unique collection, have started creating a qualitative database. This work of Retro-Conversion is expected to be completed in two years. The data will be provided to all other universities on CD-ROMs for directly downloading the records. This will avoid need for entry and reduce overall cost and improve quality of the data.

    1. Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
    2. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
    3. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
    4. University of Madras, Chennnai
    5. University of Mumbai, Mumbai

All these five libraries have been given extra funding to take up this mammoth task of creating records of their holdings as per the standards recommenced by INFLIBNET. This funding is basically restricted to creation of records in electronic form only. The infrastructure cost will be borne by the respective libraries. The bibliographic records contributed by five libraries will be hosted on INFLIBNET Servers for online access. INFLIBNET proposes to use this data for retrospective conversion and shared cataloguing of all its member libraries and large number of college libraries thereby minimizing duplication of effort and cost involved.

vi) Organizing Seminars, Workshops, Conferences, etc.:

INFLIBNET has also been engaged, from time to time, in organizing seminars, symposia, workshops and conferences for the benefit of Library staff and Information Professionals. A 10 days intensive workshop on "Bibliographic Standards and Formats for Retro-Conversion : Tools and Techniques" was organized at INFLIBNET from May 15, 2000.


5.    Membership                                                                                                                              Top


Primary membership: The University Libraries entitled to receive from UGC will become primary members immediatly on receipt of the initial grant under the INFLIBNET programme.

At present, there are 13 Central Universities. The UGC is assisting 19 deemed universities at present, out of the 38 universities for plan grants. The UGC is providing development grants to 108 State Universities. Currently, 142 universities and other institutes have been covered under the INFLIBNET programme.

Associate membership: The libraries who are not entitled to receive the grants from the UGC but are public funded academic and research organizations, Govt. departments, Non-profit making organizations can have the associate membership of INFLIBNET by signing an MOU and by paying the requisite fees.


4.4     MALIBNET (Madras Library Network)                                     



1. Introduction                                                                                                                                      Top

MALIBNET has been conceived to overcome the problem of resource crunch in the libraries and to provide information at a low cost to the users in and around Chennai. As a universal phenomenon, libraries in the region are facing two major problems:

These problems have forced the information specialists to cut down the number of journals they procured to manage the situation within the available resources. In order to find a solution to these pressing problems, the concept of automation and co-operation are proved much effective.

The need for interconnecting libraries and information centers in Chennai was visualized by Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre (INSDOC) in 1991. INSDOC undertook a feasibility study, which was completed in March 1992. MALIBNET was registered as a society in Chennai in February 1993. The nucleus of MALIBNET, the Network Service Centre (NSC) for MALIBNET is located at INSDOC Regional Centre, CSIR, CSIR, Madras Complex, Tharamani, Chennai.Presently, nearly 50 libraries in Madras are contributing actively to the creation of various databases on MALIBNET. With the help of communication links and sophisticated information technology, the resources of the member libraries are shared and made available to the users.


2. Aims & Objectives


The main aim of MALIBNET is to facilitate resource sharing and information dissemination by establishing network of libraries, and thus helps fostering growth in the field of Information science and Technology. Following are the main objectives of MALIBNET:

3.   Activities/Services

MALIBNET provides the following services:                                                                                 Top

I. Services: General

  • Contents information of journals supplied as per user's choice
  • Each subscription covering 20 journals
  • Contents data suppiled in hard copy form, through E-mail or in diskette with retrieval software
  • 12 despatches under one subscription

II. Services available free of cost to members


III. Databases Information services

MALIBNET has following databases:                                                                                             Top

Databases' Updates


MALIBNET's worldwide database information services can be utilized by users around the world by placing their orders through the cost effective mechanism of E-mail. In order to place their orders, users may request for MALIBNET freeware software customized to run on Dos, Windows & Unix platforms. For this purpose, they have to send an email to MALIBNET.

Users will receive two emails from MALIBNET. One is a 'readme' mail and the other is the freeware software in encoded form. The 'readme' email provides all the necessary instructions required to decode and get an executable version of the freeware software. Freeware software can be executed on the system (DOS/Windows/UNIX) at the user end to avail MALIBNET services. The Freeware software contains :

  • Information on MALIBNET
  • Member Institutions of MALIBNET
  • Services Offered on MALIBNET
  • Malibnet Registration Form
  • Fee Structure For Members & Non Members
  • Order Registration Forms


IV. Network based Information Services

MALIBNET offers five network based services to its users all over the world.

Content Search Service                                                                                                                 Top

This allows a search on the contents database existing at MALIBNET. It contains nearly 500 online journals. The journal list is provided to the user in the Freeware software. This database is searchable through journal title, year, volume & issue. Results are sent back to the user through E-mail. Requests for availing these services can be made by filling up the data entry forms for these services provided in the MALIBNET freeware software supplied to the user. Users can start availing MALIBNET services after they become registered users of the MALIBNET. On registration, each user is given an unique code number & password.

Literature Search Service

This is a keyword based search service on four MALIBNET databases namely Contents, Autoabst, Polymer Science & Patents. Users can specify the keywords to include and keywords to exclude as well as specify the period to be covered in the search. Users can also specify the maximum number of references needed. Contents database holds article index of approximately 500 journals. Autoabst ( a Specialized Database for Automotive Industries) is very useful for research professionals and industrialists. This database covers valuable national and international journals and currently has 10,000 records. The Patents database covers around 40,000 records and the keyword based search can give details like the inventor, country code, patent number, international classification code etc. The Polymer Science Database is a database on polymer science and related scientific areas.

Document Procurement Service

MALIBNET provides full text of articles from S & T journals. To avail this service, users are expected to provide the details of journals, year, volume, & issue along with page numbers. The charges for this service is very nominal. Requests for availing these services can be made by filling up the data entry forms for these services provided in the MALIBNET freeware software supplied to the user. Users can start availing MALIBNET services after they become registered users of the MALIBNET. On registration, each user is given an unique code number & password.

International Databases                                                                                                                      Top

Apart from querying its own databases, MALIBNET also extends search on international databases through DIALOG, DATASTAR and STN International to its users. It provides current and constantly updated information. These databases include bibliographic, commercial, statistical, full text, patents and variety of other databases. Information on Consumers, Export/Import data, Exporter/Importer list, Product information, Market Information can be supplied. Users will have to specify the keywords to search, unwanted aspects in the search, their affordable cost for the search etc. through the data entry forms in the MALIBNET Freeware.The charges depend on the actual cost incurred in searching the International databases through Dialog, Datastar or STN International.

Internet Services

MALIBNET also provides search on Internet for users requesting information found at various sites on the net. This service provides Directory list, Patents Abstract Search, Literature/Bibliographic search, Library Catalogues, File transfer, Data and Software Archives, Information about Companies, Organizations and Associations, etc. The users specify the keywords to include and exclude, their affordable cost and short descriptions on the nature of search. The cost incurred is calculated in terms of the time spent in accessing the required information on the Internet. MALIBNET also provides attractive discounts for its users on this search regularly. Requests for availing these services can be made by filling up the data entry forms for these services provided in the MALIBNET freeware software supplied to the user. Users can start availing MALIBNET services after they become registered users of the MALIBNET. On registration, each user is given an unique code number & password.


V. Publications

Publications released by MALIBNET:

The above publications are free for members and priced at Rs. 50/- each for non-members. These are available in hardcopy form and on floppy diskettes with retrieval software.

            Available on floppy diskette with retrieval software

--Directory of Current Serials – All disciplines

--Contents of Journals (selected from list) – Engineering and Physical Sciences

--Journal Holdings of Madras Libraries (selected from list) – 60 Libraries


VI.     Organising Seminars/ Meeting/Events

MALIBNET also organizes seminars and meetings time to time for the benefit of Library and Information professionals.

  • A meet organized at University of Madras on "Resource Enhancement Through Networking", exclusively for Principals of City Colleges in March, 1998
  • A seminar organized at Stella Maris College on "Improving The Academic Environment Using Information Technology" in April,1998. Experts spoke about the importance of resource sharing and the functioning of MALIBNET at length and gave a glimpse of network society of the future. An interactive session with live demonstration of online databases was conducted.

The following training courses are being held by MALIBNET for the Library and Information staff and interested users:

  • Library Automation and Networking
  • Windows and Internet
  • Computer Networking, Unix & E-mail
  • Internet

MALIBNET can also organize specialized training programmes at customers’ institutions.


4.     Membership

Membership is open to Universities, Colleges, R&D Institutions, Industries and Individuals.


Membership Category

Initial Contribution


Annual subscription





Institutional (Academic



Institutional (Industry)



Associate Institutional



User Category




Presently there are 17 major educational/research institutions which have joined as member institutions of MALIBNET.


From the study of above Library Networks, we see that attempt has been made to expand more and more services by the respective library networks to give maximum benefits to their members in terms of bibliographic as well as factual information. These networks are also engaged at various university libraries and institutions for automating their house keeping activities. In future, these as well as new established library networks, viz. ADINET, PUNENET, BONET, MYLIBNET, etc. are expected to play an important role in interlinking and resource sharing among various universities, R&D institutions, public libraries, academic libraries and other information centres in the country.
























Copyright © 2001 Pawan Kumar Jha. All rights reserved.
October, 2001
Hauz Khas,New Delhi-110016

Note: The Dissertation is based on the sources mentioned in the "References"