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The iconic photograph of the P K Kelkar Library at IIT Kanpur. (Source: IIT Kanpur Website)

The PK Kelkar Library (formerly known as the Central Library) of IIT Kanpur is one of the largest and most prestigious libraries in India. As of January 2015, it houses a diverse collection of over 270,000 books, 1900 journals, 235,000 volumes and 21,000 technical reports. It operates in a three-storied building spanning an area of 5730 m2, furnished with an elevator and air conditioning. The library was renamed to its present name after Dr. P K Kelkar, the first director of IIT Kanpur, in 2003.



Resources such as books, gratis, journals, volumes, annual and technical reports, theses, dissertations and faculty publications are available in large numbers and varying fields. Access to electronic resources of information including E-books, E-journals, CDs and DVDs is also provided. The library also has several newspaper and magazine subscriptions.


Borrowing privileges are granted to faculty, academic staff, research scholars and students. The maximum number of books and maximum time period for borrowing depends on whether the borrower is a student, staff member or a faculty member. Books are issued against an ID card issued by the institute to the borrower. For textbooks recommended for courses, there is a special section in the library called the Reserve Section. The books available in this section of the library can only be availed inside the library for a maximum period of 2 hours.

The library has a policy of stopping all issuing activities at 9 p.m. on weekdays and at 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Both issues and returns are not serviced on Sundays and Institute Holidays. In case a borrowed item is not returned withing the specified period, an overdue charge of 20 paise per day is levied.


The library provides a number of facilities to cater information to students, faculty and staff members in order to aid research, teaching and learning. The building is centrally air conditioned and equipped with WiFi access points to provide high bandwidth internet access. Photocopying facilities are available on the ground floor and second floor on a payment basis. A Computer Aided Reference Service (CARS) is provided on weekdays for accessing the E-resources offered. On each floor, there are designated areas for reading, well furnished with tables, chairs and laptop charging sockets. A canteen and the campus CCD outlet are situated close to the library, providing refreshment to the users.

Hours of Operation

The library operates from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight on weekdays (Monday to Friday), 9 a.m. to 12 midnight on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. During examination days, this is changed to 24-hour operation. The online services are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The library hours are limited on Institute Holidays.

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