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Building a College Library According to NAAC Standards: A Proven Guide 9

Building a College Library According to NAAC Standards: A Comprehensive Guide

Today Librarianship is evolving and multi-disciplinary with its rich information sources both print and online sources to support learning, teaching, research, and extension activities of the user community in the networked environment. The National Assessment and Accreditation Council has given strength and motivation to the  Librarians and now the Librarians have a significant role to play in IQAC and RUSA activities of universities and colleges occupying positions as Director – IQAC, NAAC Coordinator, RUSA Coordinator, and also NSS and IT Coordinators.

In this context, an attempt has been made to notify the vibrant role of Librarian(s) in the NAAC process. Discusses the inevitability of Librarians in NAAC and Quality Excellence in Higher Education not confining themselves to just Key Indicator – 4.2 Libraries as a Learning Resource (20 marks), but also to play a significant role in other criteria of NAAC.


The criteria-based assessment forms the backbone of the A&A process of NAAC. The seven criteria represent the core functions and activities of a HEI. In the revised framework not only the academic and administrative aspects of institutional functioning but also the emerging issues have been included. The seven Criteria to serve as the basis for the assessment of HEIs are:

  1. Curricular Aspects
  2. Teaching-Learning and Evaluation
  3. Research, Innovations, and Extension
  4. Infrastructure and Learning Resources
  5. Student Support and Progression
  6. Governance, Leadership and Management
  7. Institutional Values and Best Practices

Under each Criterion, a few Key Indicators are identified. These Key Indicators (KIs) are further delineated as Metrics that elicit responses from the HEIs. These seven criteria along with their KIs are given below explicating the aspects they represent

The Final Grade

Based on the CGPA obtained by the institution in a maximum possible score of 4.00, the final grade is assigned on a seven-point scale as shown in Table 3. The seven points refer to the seven-letter grades each aligned to the seven specific score range.

 Table 3 Institutional Grades and Accreditation Status

Building a College Library According to NAAC Standards: A Comprehensive Guide

Institutions that secure a CGPA equal to or less than 1.50 are notionally categorized under the letter grade “D”. Such unqualified institutions will also be intimated and notified by NAAC as “Assessed and Found not qualified for Accreditation”.


Institutions of higher education are tasked with providing students access to a wide range of resources to support their academic pursuits. A well-equipped and efficiently managed library is a cornerstone of any college campus, playing a crucial role in facilitating learning, research, and intellectual growth.

To meet the quality benchmarks set by accreditation bodies like the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), colleges must adhere to specific standards when establishing and maintaining their libraries. In this guide, we’ll explore how to build a college library according to NAAC standards and outline the tasks involved in the process.

Here are some professionally crafted questions and corresponding answers for institutions embarking on NAAC accreditation and seeking guidance from NAAC experts

  1. The first thing to be cautious about while filling out the data of IQAC or SSR report is to provide only the data that can be feasibly maintained and managed within the library’s resources and capabilities. Click Here for example 
  2. When organizing registers and files in the library according to data provided by the IQAC (Internal Quality Assurance Cell) or SSR (Self Study Report)report, it’s imperative to ensure that the information documented is accurate and manageable within the library’s operational framework.
  3. Prepare an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the annual operating costs of the library. Experts commonly address this question during assessments conducted by the NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council). Centralizing data in one location facilitates easier and more accurate responses. Click here to see an example of work
  4. The most common question frequently posed by assessment teams pertains to the automation of the library and the effectiveness of the book location retrieval system. Specifically, they inquire whether the library system provides information on the exact location of books, such as shelf or cabinet numbers, to facilitate efficient book retrieval. Nowadays, QR codes are commonly utilized for this purpose. NAAC experts often inquire about the quality of the retrieval system and the average time required to locate a book.
  5. Maintain records of print journals, including the number of subscriptions, and track the quantity of journals available in electronic resources. If a subscription to the N-list exists, document the number of users included. When IQAC initiates data filing, ensure to prepare printed files accordingly. During assessments by NAAC experts, be prepared to verify the accuracy of subscription lists. Monitor the usage of N-List by faculty and students, as all records are stored within Nnlist, including details of pages viewed by users.
  6. Ensure to possess fundamental knowledge about the library software being utilized.
  7. Create an organized file containing genuine bills for purchased books, ensuring to avoidance of fabrication. In cases of donated books, never add their value to the total expenditure, maintaining consistency with the college’s accounts. Only include bills that correspond to the college’s budget allocation. Avoid pre-emptively matching expenses to allocated funds to prevent discrepancies. This precaution is crucial to avoid potential audit issues and maintain financial integrity. Most partners often encounter this issue, which is frequently questioned by accreditation experts.
  8. Maintain a log of the photostat machine usage. Ensure to collect authentication from students each time they use the machine for printing purposes daily.
  9. Establish an E-library equipped with state-of-the-art computers, high-speed internet connectivity, and Wi-Fi access available to all users. The computer systems should run on both Windows and Linux operating systems to cater to diverse user preferences and needs.
  10. Create and maintain an Accession Register, Writeoff Record Register, and Footfall Register for both Staff and Students, and separate files for Book Bills, Periodical Bills, Newspaper Bills, and Enlist Bills, with records spanning five years each. Ensure that the library retains journals, magazines, and newspapers from at least three years ago. Dedicate a designated area for New Arrival books. Establish sections for Rare Books and Reference Books, and organize the entire collection using a classification method.
  11. The librarian should be adept at determining the total count of books and unique titles within the collection, as these inquiries are commonly posed. They should also readily provide information on the quantity of rare and reference books. Librarians and staff need to maintain individual profiles, with responsibilities delineated.
  12. The library entrance should be marked with prominent signage using OPAC. Additionally, a dedicated blog for the library should be created, with its link accessible through the college website. In today’s digital age, libraries often have mobile applications that integrate with both Android (OPAC) and website platforms. Utilize notice boards to communicate library services and offerings, and if available, use digital LED displays to highlight available facilities and resources.
  13. Special attention must be given to fire safety measures, as expert assessment teams often scrutinize this aspect closely.
  14. h issue has the highest number of titles? Who is the most active subscriber? After thorough preparation, compile lists and display them on the notice board. Examples include “Best Reader,” “Most Circulated Book,” “Top N-List Reader of the Year,” and “Circulation Report.”

    15. Ensure that detailed information is available regarding the generation of reports within the software being used. Clarify whether the software operates on localhost or has a dedicated IP address. Specify the location of the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) within the software interface. Additionally, provide details about the Key Book Reserve Service and its functionality within the software.

    Building a College Library According to NAAC Standards Steps to Filling Library Data in the SSR Report

    Key Indicator – 4.2 Library as a Learning Resource (20)


    Metric No. 





    Library is automated using Integrated Library Management System  (ILMS)  and has digitisation facility

    Describe the implementation of the automation of the Library and the digitization facility available and used  in maximum of 500 words

    File Description

    • Upload any additional information
    • Paste link for additional information





    Institution has subscriptions for e-Library resources


    Library has regular subscription for the following:

    1. e – journals
    2. e-books
    3. e-ShodhSindhu
    4. Shodhganga
    5. Databases


    A.  Any  4 or all of the above

    B.  Any  3 of the above

    C.  Any  2 of the above

    D.  Any  1 of the above

    E.   None of the above

    File Description

    • Upload any additional information
    • Details of subscriptions like e-journals, e-books, e-ShodhSindhu, Shodhganga Membership etc.. (Data Template)




    Average annual expenditure for purchase of books/ e-books and subscription to journals/e-journals during the last five years (INR in Lakhs)

  Annual expenditure for purchase of  books and journals  year wise during  the last five years (INR in lakhs)

    INR in lakhs

    Data Requirement for last five years: (As per Data Template)

    • Expenditure on  the purchase of books
    • Expenditure on the purchase of journals in ith year
    • Year of expenditure:



    Where:  = Expenditure in rupees on  purchase of books and journals in ith year


    File Description (Upload)

    • Any additional information
    • Audited statements of accounts

    Details of annual expenditure for purchase of books and journals during the last five years (Data Template as of 4.2.2)




    Percentage per day usage of library by teachers and students ( foot falls and login data for online access) (Data for the latest completed academic year) Number of teachers and students using library per day over last one year

    Data Requirements:

    •  Upload last page of accession register details
    •  per day login/online users of library
    • Number of users using library through e-access
    • Number of physical users accessing library




    File Description (Upload)

    • Any additional information
    • Details of library usage by teachers and students (Library accession register, online accession details to be provided as supporting documents)

Understanding NAAC Standards for College Libraries:

NAAC, an autonomous body established by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of India, assesses and accredits higher education institutions based on various parameters, including infrastructure and facilities. When it comes to college libraries, NAAC evaluates factors such as:

  1. Infrastructure: This includes the physical space, shelving, seating arrangements, lighting, ventilation, and accessibility for users, ensuring a conducive environment for study and research.
  2. Collection Development: NAAC assesses the quality, relevance, and diversity of the library’s collection, which should encompass a wide range of print and digital resources, including books, journals, e-books, databases, multimedia materials, and other academic resources.
  3. Library Services: The institution must provide adequate library services such as circulation, reference assistance, interlibrary loan, document delivery, user orientation, information literacy programs, and facilities for the differently-abled.
  4. Technology Integration: NAAC evaluates the integration of technology in library operations, including library management systems, online cataloging, digital repositories, access to e-resources, and computer facilities for users.
  5. Staffing and Professional Development: The library should have qualified and experienced staff members to manage its operations efficiently. NAAC also considers the provision of opportunities for professional development and training for library personnel.

Tasks Involved in Building a College Library According to NAAC Standards:

  1. Needs Assessment: Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to determine the requirements of the college library in terms of space, resources, and services based on the institution’s academic programs and student population.
  2. Space Planning: Design the layout of the library space, considering factors such as seating capacity, shelving arrangements, study areas, computer labs, reference sections, and special collections.
  3. Collection Development: Acquire a diverse collection of academic resources, including textbooks, reference materials, journals, periodicals, e-books, databases, and multimedia resources, catering to the needs of various disciplines and subjects.
  4. Technology Integration: Invest in appropriate technology infrastructure, including library management systems, RFID technology for book security, computers, internet connectivity, online cataloging systems, and access to electronic resources.
  5. Staff Recruitment and Training: Hire qualified librarians and support staff with expertise in library science and information technology. Provide training and professional development opportunities to enhance their skills and keep them updated with the latest trends and best practices in library management.
  6. User Services: Develop and implement user-friendly services such as circulation, reference assistance, document delivery, interlibrary loan, information literacy programs, orientation sessions, and facilities for the differently-abled.
  7. Quality Assurance: Regularly monitor and evaluate the library’s performance against NAAC standards, conduct user surveys, gather feedback, and make necessary improvements to ensure continuous quality enhancement.

Welcome to your The Crucial Role of Librarians in NAAC Accreditation

What is the primary responsibility of the librarian in the NAAC accreditation process?

Which of the following tasks is NOT typically associated with the librarian's role in NAAC accreditation?

How does the librarian support quality enhancement initiatives during NAAC accreditation?

What role does the librarian play in ensuring compliance with NAAC accreditation standards regarding library resources?

How does the librarian contribute to the continuous improvement of library services in preparation for NAAC accreditation?

Example of Works to Meet NAAC Standards:

  1. Infrastructure Improvement: Renovating the existing library space to create designated areas for quiet study, group discussions, computer workstations, and specialized collections.
  2. Collection Development: Procuring new books, journals, and electronic resources relevant to the curriculum and research interests of students and faculty members, including subscriptions to online databases and e-journals.
  3. Technology Integration: Implementing a modern library management system with features for cataloging, circulation, inventory management, and online access to the library’s resources.
  4. Staff Development: Organizing workshops, seminars, and training programs for library staff to enhance their skills in information literacy, digital resources management, and user services.
  5. User Services Enhancement: Introducing new services such as 24/7 access to online resources, virtual reference assistance, remote access to e-books and journals, and multimedia facilities for presentations and group projects.

Possible Questions from the NAAC Team:

1. How does the college library support the institution’s academic programs and research initiatives?

Answer: The college library plays a pivotal role in supporting academic programs and research initiatives by providing access to a diverse range of resources, facilitating information literacy skills, and offering research assistance. Here’s how:

Practical Working: The library collaborates closely with faculty members to ensure that the collection aligns with the curriculum and research interests of students. Librarians conduct instructional sessions to teach students how to effectively search for and evaluate scholarly sources, thus enhancing their research skills.

Additionally, the library offers access to academic databases, journals, textbooks, and other materials required for coursework and research projects. Interlibrary loan services further expand access to resources not available within the library’s collection, thereby enriching the academic experience for students and faculty.

2. Can you provide evidence of the diversity and relevance of the library’s collection to meet the needs of various disciplines and subjects?

Answer: The diversity and relevance of the library’s collection are evident through its comprehensive range of resources catering to different disciplines and subjects.

Practical Working: The library maintains a collection development policy that outlines criteria for selecting materials across various subject areas. This policy ensures that the collection is diverse and inclusive, covering topics ranging from humanities and social sciences to STEM fields and professional studies.

Evidence of diversity can be observed through the presence of books, journals, and digital resources representing diverse perspectives, authors, and research methodologies. Moreover, the library regularly assesses the usage statistics and relevance of its collection through surveys, faculty feedback, and analysis of course requirements to make informed decisions about acquisitions and deselections.

3. How does the library integrate technology to enhance user experience and facilitate access to information resources?

Answer: The integration of technology enhances user experience and facilitates seamless access to information resources through various digital tools and platforms.

Practical Working: The library implements a modern library management system that allows users to search the catalog, request materials, and manage their accounts online. Additionally, the library website serves as a gateway to electronic resources, providing access to e-books, e-journals, databases, and multimedia materials.

To further enhance accessibility, the library offers remote access to resources for off-campus users and provides support for mobile devices. Furthermore, technology-enabled services such as virtual reference assistance, online tutorials, and chat support enable users to receive timely help and guidance from librarians.

4. What measures are in place to ensure the security and preservation of the library’s physical and digital collections?

Answer: The library employs a range of measures to ensure the security and preservation of its physical and digital collections, safeguarding them for current and future generations of users.

Practical Working: For physical collections, the library implements security systems such as CCTV surveillance, electronic theft detection gates, and controlled access to restricted areas. Additionally, preservation efforts include proper handling, storage, and conservation of rare or fragile materials, along with regular inspections and maintenance of the library building and facilities.

In terms of digital collections, the library employs robust cybersecurity measures to protect against unauthorized access, data breaches, and cyber threats. This includes encryption, firewalls, antivirus software, and regular backups of digital assets to prevent data loss or corruption.

5. How does the library engage with users and gather feedback to continuously improve its services and resources?

Answer: The library actively engages with users and solicits feedback through various channels to continuously improve its services and resources, ensuring that they meet the evolving needs of the college community.

Practical Working: The library conducts user surveys, focus groups, and suggestion boxes to gather feedback on services, resources, facilities, and overall satisfaction levels. Additionally, librarians actively participate in outreach activities, orientation sessions, and workshops to promote awareness of library services and gather input from users. The library website and social media platforms serve as channels for communication, announcements, and feedback submission.

Based on the feedback received, the library evaluates its performance, identifies areas for improvement, and implements initiatives to enhance user experience, such as extending operating hours, expanding collections, or introducing new services. Regular assessment and review processes ensure that the library remains responsive to the needs and preferences of its users.

In conclusion, building a college library according to NAAC standards requires careful planning, resource allocation, and continuous quality improvement efforts. By adhering to the prescribed guidelines and focusing on infrastructure development, collection building, technology integration, staff development, and user services enhancement, colleges can create a vibrant and effective library that contributes to the overall academic excellence and student success on campus.

Building a College Library According to NAAC Standards Building a College Library According to NAAC Standards

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