National library calcutta

The delivery of books and newspapers (public libraries) act, 1954

The act was enacted for the delivery of books to the National Library at Calcutta and other public library notified by the government.

Delivery of books of public libraries (Section 3)

The publisher shall have the duty to deliver at his own expense a copy of the book to the National Library at Calcutta and one such copy to each of the other three public libraries within thirty days from the date of its publication.

Copy should be its best version

If the act binds publishers to deliver free copy, then it also ensures to deliver the best version of it and not just the cheap version.

The act said that,

  • The copy delivered to the National Library shall be a copy of the whole book with all maps and illustrations belonging thereto, finished and coloured in the same manner as the best copies of the same, and shall be bound, sewed or stitched together and on the best paper on which any copy of the book is printed.
  • The copy delivered to any other public library shall be on the paper on which the largest number of copies of the books is printed for sale, and shall be in the like condition as the book prepared for sale.


However, it shall not be the duty to publisher to also deliver any second or subsequent edition of a book in which edition no additions or alterations either in the letter-press or in the maps, book prints or other engravings belongings to the book have been made.

Delivery of newspapers to public libraries

This shall also be the duty of the publisher of newspapers to deliver at his own expense one copy of each issue of such newspaper as soon as it is published to each such public library.

Receipt for books delivered

When a book is delivered to public libraries, the librarian of the library or other person who is authorised by the librarian in this behalf, shall give a receipt in writing to the receiving of book.


The act also impose penalty if any publisher contravenes the provision of the act. Any publisher who contravenes any provision of this Act or of any rule made thereunder,

  • 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.

Court’s power to take cognizance of the offence

THE act further provides that no court shall take cognizance of the offence committed under this act. However, the court can exercise its power on the complaint of officer authorised the government in this behalf.

No court inferior to the first class magistrate shall try offences under this act.

Power to make rules

Section 8 of the act give power to the Central Government to make rules to carry out the purposes of this Act.


The delivery of books and newspapers (public libraries) act, 1954