About us

Brief Introduction

Tribhuvan University Central Library (TUCL), now considered as the biggest library in Nepal, was established in 1959 A.D. along with the university with the sole purpose of helping the university in attaining her objectives. At the time of its establishment, TUCL had a meager collection of only few hundred books. Ever since then, the collection kept on growing and, by now, after 61 years of its establishment, the collection exceeds 410,000 volumes of documents consisting of books, bound periodicals, theses, audio books and other documents. It’s located at the university’s central campus premises in Kirtipur, at five kilometers distance to the South-west of Kathmandu city.

Its present building was designed by a Swiss architect Mr. Robert Weise and was built in 1967 in cooperation with the Govt. of India. Nearly after two decades and half, an annex building (nearly 3 times bigger than the original one) was constructed considering the increasing number of documents and its ever-growing number of clienteles. Many philanthropists and bibliophiles have contributed to this library to grow into its present size. It is considered as the largest library in the country not only in terms of building/space but also in terms of collection, technical manpower, number of members, daily visitors and mainly the variety of services being rendered.

Library clienteles:

Even though TUCL is an academic library established to support the teaching, study and research needs of the university campus, Kirtipur, it has extended its services beyond the limit of the university campus. Apparently, having no good public libraries in Kathmandu valley and respecting the needs & sentiments of all the concerned, TUCL does also offer memberships even to the general public as well as to the foreigners residing in Nepal. The massive Earthquake that struck Nepal in April/May 2015 had severely affected the library in many ways, however, TUCL has not stopped offering the services to all its members, visitors, the university administration and even to the general public despite the scourge of the Earthquake.

Brief history

Nepal Government’s Central Library:

The Nepal National Education Commission, appointed by the Nepal Govt. in 1954, recommended in its report as saying “A strong central library should be established as a center for study and research”. As a result, an agreement between the Government of Nepal and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was signed on April 30, 1957 to establish a Central Library in Kathmandu. Consequently,  a library named Central Library was established at Lall Durbar (somewhere near the Yak & Yeti hotel), Kathmandu on June 1, 1959 with the effort of Mr. John L. Hafenrichter, the then USAID education advisor in Nepal. The newly established Central Library was a public library and the library’s technical works used to be done under the guidance and technical expertise of Dr. E.W. Erickson, an American librarian who later became the director of Michigan University Library, USA.

The T.U. Library:

In the same year, a month later in July 1959, Tribhuvan University Act was passed and the University itself came into existence. Classes began to be run in old buildings at Tripureshwor. This same year, the T.U. Library was established. This library, from the very beginning suffered from meager number of books collection, inadequate space, lack of technical manpower and other facilities. At that time it is said the library had less than one thousand books that were kept piled on the ground one  atop another and only some were shelved in stacks made out of bricks and planks of wood in a very limited space.

Merger of the two libraries:

After three years, in 1962, the Central Library at Lal Durbar was handed over to Tribhuvan University Library in accordance with a decision of the Govt. of Nepal, and thus, after the merger of the 3 years old Central library at Lall Durbar (having a collection of 15,000 volumes of books) with the Tribhuvan University Library (having a collection of 7813 volumes) it came to be known as Tribhuvan University Library (TUCL) and the collection reached 24,813 volumes of books. Since 1977 (2033 B.S.) it began to be called as T.U. Central Library. By now, mid March, 2020 (Chaitra 2076), the library’s collection has reached more than 410,000 volumes of books and other documents.


As mentioned earlier, the main objective of TU Central Library is to help its mother institution i.e. Tribhuvan University in attaining her objectives. Besides this, being the biggest and considered as the most organized & reliable library in the nation, TUCL shoulders the responsibility of attaining the following objectives too:

  • to preserve the intellectual heritage of the nation.
  • To promote information literacy, readership and life-long learning.
  • To provide materials both in conventional and e-formats and furnish an environment conducive to study & research.
  • to promote resource sharing, networking and exchange of databases.
  • to provide documentation and information services and bring out relevant publications.
  • to help develop scholarly standards, guidelines and best practices in libraries.
  • to promote professional expertise in information management and conduct trainings in librarianship for the T.U. librarians and library staff.

T.U. Library Development Committee

In order to govern the TU Central Library and to formulate policies to run and improve the overall condition of the libraries under the umbrella of T.U., there is a provision of a higher governing body, namely T.U. Library Development Committee (LDC). The committee consists of 25 members chaired by the Rector of T.U. and the chief librarian of T.U.Central Library works as the Member-Secretary. All other members are nominated by the Vice Chancellor on the recommendation of the Rector. The tenure of this committee is of three years and holds meeting once a year or as per the need. The T.U.Central Library works as the secretariat of the committee. The committee is formed as mentioned hereunder:

Rector, Tribhuvan University


Deans, Tribhuvan University (9)


Directors, T.U.Research Centers (4)


Director, Curriculum Development Center, TU (1)


Head of the Departments, TU Central Depts. (any 3)


Campus chiefs, TU campuses (any 2)


Campus chief, from TU affiliated campuses (any 1)


Library chiefs from TU libraries (2)


Library expert any one from among Nepali librarians (1)


Chief Librarian, TU Central library


T.U. Library Special Committee

This Library Special Committee is the steering committee formed by the Governing body i.e. Library Development Committee (LDC) to help the chief librarian of T.U.Central Library in implementation of the policies and programs formulated by the LDC. This committee is formed by the Chairperson of the LDC i.e. the Rector. This committee consists of 7 members. The tenure of this committee is also of three years and meeting is held twice a year or as per the need. The structure of this committee is as follows:

Rector, Tribhuvan University


From among the Deans of TU, (1)


From among the Directors of TU Research Centres (1)


From among the HODs of Central deptts, TU Kirtipur (2)


Library expert from among the T.U.Librarians (1)


Chief librarian, TU Central Library


Special features

  • ISBN National Agency: Considering the TUCL’s collection, manpower and the variety of services being rendered to its clienteles, in January 2000, the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) Headquarters designated TUCL as the only National agency for Nepal for distributing ISBNs. For more information about this please go to (Give link).
  • UN Depository Library: Since 1964, TUCL has been entrusted to serve as the only depository library in Nepal for the publications of United Nations and her agencies, viz. ILO, IMF, UNESCO, UNICEF etc. For more information about this, please go to UN Depository Collection (Give link).
  • NeLIC databases : TUCL has also been subscribing some prominent databases such as JSTOR and Project MUSE from the organization NeLIC (Nepal Library and Information Consortium). JSTOR provides thousands of peer-reviewed full text articles of scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences and sciences. Similarly, Project MUSE provides access to online database of peer-reviewed academic journals and electronic books on humanities and social science contents.
  • NepJOL database:  Nepal Journals Online (NepJOL) is a database of peer reviewed scholarly journals of Nepalese origin being hosted by TUCL itself. For more information please visit the site: http://www.nepjol.info/.
  • Nepal Theses database : TUCL has been maintaining Nepal Theses Database where all the Ph.D. theses and dissertations submitted to TUCL by Nepalese scholars at home and abroad are uploaded and are given access to use.


  • TUCL Publications : TUCL does also publish some useful documents from time to time. In addition to regular publications such as annual reports, brochures and yearly compilation of periodicals’ lists, it has also published more than 3 dozen documents. For more information please go to Publications. (Give link).
  • CIP distribution : Like the Library of Congress and British library, TUCL does also prepare CIP (Cataloguing -In-Publications) and are distributed to the books that are going to be published. Its usually done if only the authors or publishers approach TUCL’s technical section at the time of obtaining ISBNs for their books. (CIP is bibliographic information of the book in card catalogue format printed on the back side of the title page).
  • TU Archive and rare books collection: TUCL has maintained a section exclusively dedicated to preserving Tribhuvan University’s publications. In addition, TUCL has also been preserving the books that are deemed significant from the historical point of view. The library is planning to digitize all these documents in the future and give easy access to them online.
  • Manuscripts collection: T.U.Central library has a collection of 731 old manuscripts. All these manuscripts have been digitized and the manuscripts have been preserved separately.

Collection development

Collection is one of the major assets that any library can be proud of. T.U. Central Library strives to enrich its collection on variety of subjects keeping in view the necessities of its clienteles. This library focuses mainly on textbooks, reference books, theses, audio-books, prize-winning books, contemporary famous books etc. depending upon the demand of the frequent users. Generally, there are number of ways that are followed in collection building:

  • By purchase : Before placing orders to the vendors, the library sends circulars to all the central departments of T.U.Central campus to recommend the necessary books supportive to their departments’ curricula. In the purchase process every year the library sends a circular to all the central departments of University campus to send lists of useful books based on the syllabus of the respective disciplines of subjects of the particular department. Upon receiving the list with recommendations, the library seeks approval from the university registrar to purchase the books keeping in mind the allocated amount of budget. After getting the approval from the registrar, the library places orders to the local vendors to supply the books. After the books are received the books are entered into the accession register and then sent for technical processing and payment. However, in the case of contemporary famous books and other reference books, the purchase depends on the discretion of the chief librarian. Generally, in the case of textbooks a maximum of 10 copies and in the case of other books a maximum of 4 books are purchased depending on the availability of the budget allocated by the University.
  • By Gift: T.U.Central library accepts books as gift from time to time. If the books are to be presented by foreign organizations, then the chief librarian seeks to receive permission from the T.U.’s higher authority through the office of T.U. International Relations Centre. In the case of books that are given by local organizations or persons, then the Chief librarian himself/herself decides whether to accept the books or not keeping view the usefulness of the books/documents being presented.
  • By Depository provision: Since Nepal has been designated as the depository library in Nepal for the publications of United Nations, T.U.Central Library has been regularly receiving books and other documents published by the UN and its agencies. Similarly, various other international organizations such as ADB, APO, IBRD, IDRC etc. have been sending their publications as depository library copies to this library.
  • ISBN depository: TU Central library is the sole national agency in Nepal since 2000 AD to distribute ISBNs to the books to be published. Immediately after the publication, the publishers/ authors send 1 or 2 copies of each title to this library to be kept as depository copies. The library has a very beautiful stock of books kept as ISBN depository copies.

Library Membership

TU Central Library provides membership to teachers, students, research scholars and administrative staff of Central Departments of T.U. Kirtipur. Similarly, it also provides membership to the permanent teachers of all other TU colleges in Kathmandu Valley. Any Nepalese citizen can be a private member of the Library. For non-Nepalese nationals, they should produce an official recommendation letter from their employer or a photocopy of their valid passport to be a member of the Library with a refundable deposit of Nepalese Rupees 3,000/- . For the Nepali nationals, refundable deposit charge is Rs.1500 /-

There is also a provision of Temporary Membership. If an individual wants to use the Library resources for a few weeks only, s/he could be granted a temporary membership. Temporary membership fee is NRs.100/- for a period of 15 days. For more information go through our brochure here

Catalogue type/search

T.U. Central Library has maintained a hybrid type of catalogue viz. traditional card catalogue as well as machine readable computer catalogue i.e. OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue). The card catalogues have been filed alphabetically under the name of Authors, Titles and Subjects. Computer catalogue search can be done from the library’s computer search terminals placed at different sections of the library or can also be done remotely from home.

Organization/Management of the documents

The books have been organized subject-wise as per the famous system Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) scheme. Each book/title gets a code number i.e. class number representing the thought content of the book. A special sticker bearing the code number is attached to the book’s spine and is shelved on the shelf in close proximity with the books having the same or nearly the same code no./subject.

While searching a desired book in the computer database or card catalogue a user notes down the code number and goes to the corresponding shelf to find the book bearing the same code number.

Future plan

While retaining the glory of being big in collection as well as the varieties of services being rendered to its clienteles, T.U.Central library has yet to do a lot in the future in order to run itself in a modern way to meet the ever increasing demands of the ICT literate modern society. The shrinking space, the shrinking number of staff (from 89 persons in 1980s to 42 in 2020) and limited infrastructure have made it difficult for TUCL from attaining its full potential. In addition, the severe effect of the massive Earth Quakes that struck Nepal in April/May 2015 have left the library in dilapidated condition thereby putting more challenges on us to manage the limited space left by the EQ. A design of 3 story modern building has already been drawn and is in the process of construction by the Reconstruction authority of the Govt. of Nepal. In addition, the library has envisioned some plans that need to be materialized in the coming years. Some of them are listed as follows.

  1. Updating the TUCL’s bibliographic database by means of Retrospective conversion of the old card catalogues into computer database.
  2. Introducing and replacing the outdated barcode system with RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification technology.
  3. Strengthening the E-Resources facilities, library databases and introducing plagiarism software.
  4. Creating an up-to-date database of the ISBN collection and making online distribution of ISBNs.
  5. Managing the TU archives and the rare books collection by means of digitization.
  6. Strengthening the professional expertise of T.U.Central library’s librarians and constituent campus librarians’ by means of refresher trainings, seminars etc. both at home and abroad.
  7. Conducting seminars in all the constituent colleges to make the professors aware of the TUCL’s e-resources and the ways in making maximum use of them by being interlinked to our system.
  8. Digitization of all the theses, dissertations and village profiles and making their contents available through OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue) and databases.