Access to reliable, timely, information is essential to the proper functioning of democratic legislature. Legislative Libraries and Research services contribute to the effectiveness of Legislature by providing authoritative, independent, non-partisan and relevant information. It has been a valuable source of guidance for people working in the field of providing research and information services for parliamentarians. The Library serves the Legislature and the legislative service agencies by providing essential information resources and information services which support the legislative process.
In a parliamentary democratic system, as in India, the representatives of the people need objective, factual and timely information with a view to ensuring executive accountability to the legislative. That being the case, it is imperative that a Legislature should have its own information reservoir and information management system, away from the control of the Executive. In the Karnataka Legislature, the multifarious information needs of members are met by Legislature's Library and Reference, Research and Browsing Centre.
Remarkable developments in the field of the science and technology in recent years have revolutionized all aspect of human-especially in the context of information management. People today live in an information society and without a doubt an informed electorate and Legislature are valuable assets to a successful democracy.
The advent of new techolonogy has not gone unnoticed or unutilized in the Karnataka Legislature also. We have been making a modest but sustained attempt to harness the advantages of modernizing our Library so that we can serve the Members of our Legislature better.
Ever since its inception, Library has endeavored to live up to its role as an information provider and also as an information manufacturer. The Library is a key component in the Karnataka Legislature, with a collection of about One Lakh Volumes of printed books, Reports, Government publications, Debates, Gazettes and other documents.
The Library collections include, from the entire field of knowledge specially on History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, Law, Parliament, Biography & Autobiography of Freedom fighters and eminent Parliamentarians, debates of Indian Parliament, State Legislatures and some foreign Parliaments, reports of Central and State Governments and United Nations and its Agencies, Gazettes of Central and State Governments and other documents including periodicals and publications brought out by the Secretariats of the two Houses of the Legislature. The collections of the Library are primarily in English and Kannada.
The Library processes, Text of the Constitution and the Constituent Assembly Debates (List of Members and full text of proceedings) Bills, Rules of procedure and conduct of business in the Houses, Rulings/Observations/Directions by the Chair, Council of Ministers, Consolidated Index of Members, Bio-data of Members, State General Elections details, By-elections to the Assembly (since 1952) Presidents rule in State/Union Territories (since 1957)
It was in the 2005-2006 that the Legislature Library of Karnataka initiated measures to keep pace with the technological advancements in information management. Thus, in 2006, we made a modest beginning towards automation. E-Library was set up for managing the Legislature Library information System with the help of the Browsing Centre. It may be worth mentioning that the modernization of the both Secretariats has indeed been a welcome development in further facilitating the varied roles of a member of Legislature. Inevitably, the information needs of members have also been greatly addressed with the computerization of both the Secretariats and its Branches dealing with Questions, Committees, Reporting, Member Services, Administration, Recruitment Pay and Accounts etc., and e-Library and Browsing Centre, two separate but inter-linked and are now functional-in Karnataka Legislature.
Because of the keen interest evinced by Hon'ble Chairman of Legislative Council Sri. D.H.Shankara Murthy, Hon'ble Speaker of Karnataka Legislative Assembly, in the Karnataka Legislature Secretariat could install NewGenLib Software on 30.04.2011 in the existing Computer facility which is meant for Legislature Library but now the Legislature Library is incorporated e-Granthalaya Software.
An Internet application provided by e-Granthalaya software enables users to access and search information stored in legal debates, including the Karnataka Legislature, Enquiry Commission reports, Legislative Committees Reports. A workstation linked to the Internet, our online catalogue, and to other libraries and database is located in the reference area.
We will assist Hon'ble Members of legislature in using them for research. Accessing electronic information services and database, such as law, bills, status and rules, as well as current articles and reports specific to a legislator's research needs. Listening of recent reports submitted to the Library are requested and required by the Legislature is being made. The Legislature Library has put emphasis on developing its own database, since the need for objective and non-partisan information for a member is vitally important.