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The Delivery of Books “and Newspapers” (Public Libraries) Act, 1954


1. Introduction:   In 1954 Indian parliament passed Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act. According to this Act, the publisher of every book, newspaper or serial must deliver at his own expense a copy of the book within thirty days from the date of its publication to the National Library at Calcutta (Kolkata) and one copy each to three other public libraries specified by the Central Government. The Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act, 1954: No. 27 of 1954, amended by the Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Amendment Act, 1956: No. 99 of 1956 and thus it became “The Delivery of Books 'and Newspapers' (Public Libraries) Act, 1954”. The insertions “and Newspapers” provided by the Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Amendment Act, 1956 to includes serials as well. The Delivery of Books (Public Libraries) Act, 1954 extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

2. Mode of Delivery: A copy of every book published by a publisher and the publisher of every newspaper, published in the territories to which this Act extends, shall deliver at his own expense one copy of each issue of such newspaper as soon as it is published, shall be delivered by him to the librarian of three public library either by registered post or through a special messenger. Under the Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954, the National Library, Calcutta (presently Kolkata) is entitled to receive a copy of every publication brought out by anyone anywhere in the country. The other copies should be delivered to the Connemera Public Library, Madras (Chennai), The Central Library, Town Hall, Bombay (Mumbai), and the Delhi Public Library. The copy to be delivered to the National Library, Kolkata should be the best of its kind.

3. Receipt for Books Delivered: The person in charge of a public library (whether called a librarian or by any other name) or any other person authorised by him in his behalf to whom a copy of a book is delivered shall give to the publisher a receipt in writing and send it to the publisher by registered post and such receipt shall be conclusive proof of the fact that a copy of the book has been duly delivered to the public library of which he is the librarian.

4. Benefit for the Publisher: The Indian National Bibliography is procured by all leading libraries and learned institutions throughout the English speaking world and much beyond. The books that are received by way of Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act 1954, 56 are included in the INB. Thus, the INB provides the publisher or the author with an excellent and unique opportunity of using the forum of the Indian National Bibliography to give the widest possible publicity to their publications not only in India but virtually all over the world. So, Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act 1954, 56 also gives a commercial advantage of publicity to the publisher or authors.

5. Penalty: Any publisher who contravenes any provision of this Act. or of any rule made hereunder shall be punishable with fine which may extend to fifty rupees and, “if the contravention is in respect of a book, shall also be punishable with fine which shall be equivalent to” the value of the book, and the court trying the offence may direct that the whole or any part of the fine realised from him shall be paid, by way of compensation to the public library to which the book or “newspaper”, as the case may be, ought to have been delivered.

6. Conclusion: The Delivery of Books and Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act, 1954 have the provision to deliver a copy of every publication brought out by anyone anywhere in the India to the National Library, Calcutta. Apart from the obligation cast upon publishers under the law, there is also an advantage they stand to enjoy by depositing their publications to the National Library. It provides them with an excellent opportunity of using the forum of the Indian National Bibliography to give the widest possible publicity to their publications in India and virtually all over the world.

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