American Library Kolkata

The American Library
Public Affairs Office,
American Center,
38-A, J. L. Nehru Road,
Kolkata 700 071. Tel: 91-33-6827-6300
Fax: 91-33-2288-1616/0356 E-mail:
Library Hours: 10.00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.(Mon-Fri)

The American Library formerly known as the United States Information Service (USIS) Library is a part of the Public Affairs Office of the American Consulate General, Kolkata. Through its various activities and resources the library aims to promote a better understanding of the policies, values, institutions and culture of the United States. It provides a wide range of current, accurate and authoritative information from a vast selection of print and electronic resources using state-of-the-art technology.

The library collection focuses primarily on U.S. government and politics, international relations, economics, business management, social sciences, human rights, American history, American literature and global issues such as environment, drug abuse and HIV/AIDS. It maintains approximately 15,000 volumes of books, U.S. government and think tank reports, DVD on current topics, and subscribes to 162 American periodicals and 3 leading American newspapers. A range of electronic databases available for the use of patrons provide access to abstracts and full texts of articles from scholarly periodicals. Reference specialists assist patrons in locating information for queries received in person, by telephone, e-mail or by post.

eLibraryUSA: Virtual Library

eLibraryUSA is a virtual library with online access to millions of publications, scholarly journals, eBooks, audio, video, and other multi-media content. This virtual library is targeted towards audiences looking to do research, like high school and university students, teachers, professors, government officials, and journalists, among others. Through eLibraryUSA you can access content in databases like Gale, Encyclopedia Britannica, eBrary, CQ and others specializing in diverse topics (including science, technology, environment, health, social sciences, literature, economics, business administration, English learning, history, and American culture).

The book collection may be accessed through the computerized Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). Available on the Worldwide Web, OPAC contains the complete holdings of the American Libraries in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. The book catalog of the four American Libraries in India may be searched by author, title, subject, keyword, publisher and call number at

The American Library  offers individual and institutional membership to residents of Kolkata and the entire eastern and northeast India. Members of the American Library may borrow books in person or through post and request research material by either visiting the library or through telephone, letter or e-mail. Membership enrollment forms may be obtained by writing to the American Library or by emailing at

Local Individual Processing Fees

One year – Rs.400/-

Two years –  Rs.700/-

Enrollment fee is to be paid by cash only.

Outstation Individual Processing Fees

One-year – Rs.400/-

Two years – Rs. 700/-

The fee is to be paid either by money order addressed to the AIRC Director, American Information Resource Center, or by a demand draft drawn in favor of the American Consulate General, Calcutta.

Institutional Enrollment Processing Fees

Institutions are categorized into profit and non-profit organizations.
Enrollment processing fees are:

Profit organization: 

One year – Rs. 4000/-

Two years  –  Rs.7000/-

Non-profit organization:

One year – Rs. 2000/-

Two years  –  Rs. 3000/-

Fees may be paid by cash, check or demand draft drawn in favor of the American Consulate General, Calcutta.

Borrower’s Card

A laminated barcoded membership card is issued to members for access to the library and to check-in and check-out books and videocassettes. It is not transferable. A member is responsible for all books and videocassettes borrowed on his/her card. Change of address should be reported immediately.

The loss of a membership card should be reported immediately to the Librarian, or else books drawn on the lost card continue to be the responsibility of the borrower to whom the card was issued. On payment of Rs. 25/-, a fresh card is issued against the lost or damaged card, provided no books or videocassette are due.

The library offers mail-loan privileges to members residing in Eastern India, outside Kolkata. Mail loan is available to library members in the states of the Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand ,Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Bihar, Sikkim, Tripura, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal (outside Kolkata) and also Bhutan.

Enrollment forms may be obtained by writing to the American Information Resource Center.Members may borrow four books at a time for eight weeks, including postal transit time. Books are sent by Registered Parcel Post, and the borrower must return the same at his or her own expense by Registered Parcel Post. Other rules and regulations are identical to those for borrowers in the Kolkata area.

No printed catalog of the library’s holdings is available, but the librarian will be glad to prepare short lists of books on a particular subject or select books for outstation patrons.

Limited quantities of library material for the personal use of the library patrons may be photocopied against a charge of Re. 1/- per page.

Colored photocopies are available on payment of Rs.20/- per page (A4 size) and Rs.35/- per page (A3 size).

Reprints from electronic databases may be obtained at Rs.3/- per page.

The reference librarian will answer queries for definite information received in person, by telephone, by email or by post and will assist patrons in the use of the library.

If a book noted in the catalog is not found on the shelf, patrons may fill out a reservation card at the Circulation Desk. Patrons will be informed by post when the book becomes available.

Books in the library are classified according to the Dewey Decimal System. Books are shelved numerically according to their call numbers. Reference books, denoted by REF before the call number, are shelved separately in the Reference Section.