Tribhuwan University
en np

TU Central Library (TUCL)

Tribhuvan University Central Library (TUCL), considered the biggest library in Nepal, was established in 1959 along with the university with the sole purpose of helping the university in attaining its objectives. At the time of its establishment, TUCL had a meager collection of only a few hundred books. Ever since then, the collection kept on growing, and, by now, in her 60 years of its establishment, the collection exceeds 400,000 documents consisting of books, bound volumes of periodicals, theses, audiobooks, and other documents. Located at the university's central campus premises in Kirtipur Kathmandu, the present building was constructed in 1967 and after two decades and a half, an annex building (nearly 3 times bigger than the original one) was constructed considering the growing number of documents and its ever-growing number of clienteles. 

Even though TUCL is an academic library, providing service to university faculties, students, and research scholars, it also functions as a public library to a great extent by means of offering services to government officials, other organizations, and foreign scholars, and even to the general public. 

The library's main building remains open 8 hours a day and the annexed reading rooms outside the library are kept open for 12 hours a day even on holidays except for Saturdays. TUCL is planning to extend its opening hours up to 16 hours once the infrastructure is made sufficient and supportive. 



The sole objective of TUCL is to help its mother institution, i.e. Tribhuvan University in attaining her objectives. Besides this, being the biggest and considered as the most reliable library in the nation, TUCL shoulders the responsibility of attaining the following objectives too. Its other objectives are as follows

  • To preserve the intellectual heritage of the nation;

  • To promote resource sharing, networking and exchange of databases;

  • To help develop scholarly standards, guidelines and best practices in libraries;

  • To provide documentation and information services and bring out relevant publications; and

  • To promote professional expertise in information management for the librarians of all the colleges under the umbrella of Tribhuvan University.



  • To attain the above objectives, TUCL supports the university's teaching, learning and research activities by procuring relevant documents in accordance with the university's curricula and rendering various services to satisfy the clienteles' needs. Generally, the library performs the following functions: Collection development - In print, audio/visual and online resources;

  • Technical processing - to facilitate in organizing & browsing the documents;

  • User education - to make the library clienteles aware of its collection, organization, borrowing rules & services being rendered;

  • Publications of serials lists, annual reports, bibliographies etc;

  • Maintaining in house databases; acquiring international databases and rendering online services;

  • Preserving the materials acquired and other materials of historical significance; and

  • Conducting in-service trainings, seminars and other information dissemination activities etc.


Collection and Sections

Considering the type of functions and services to be rendered, TUCL has to maintain many sections. The most prominent sections are as follow: 

  • Main section (Course books for circulation purpose) 

  • Reference section. 

  • Textbooks section (course books for in-house use).

  • Nepal collection section. (Books on Nepal and books published in Nepal are kept for archival purpose) 

  • Theses / dissertations and village profiles section. 

  • E-resources section 

  • ISBN distribution and collection section

  • UN depository section. 

  • Back volumes of periodicals section.

  • Old manuscripts, T.U. archive and rare books section. 

  • Audio-books for visually impaired persons section. 

  • Singh collection, American studies collection, Japanese collection Chinese books section. 

  • Other sections: Acquisition section, Processing section, Circulation section, Binding section and Administrative sections. 


Services rendered

TUCL renders mainly the following: 

  • Library orientation/User education service

  • Circulation service

  • E-resources service

  • Periodicals service

  • Audio-books service for the Visually Impaired Persons (VIPs)

  • ISBN distribution service

  • CIP distribution service

  • Reference service 

  • Theses, dissertations and other rare books service

  • Users' advisory service etc. 


Special features:

  • ISBN National Agency: Considering the TUCL's collection, manpower, number of library members 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. 

  • 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. 

  • Online databases: Considering the University teachers', Research scholars' teaching, learning & research needs, TUCL has been subscribing to many online international databases. The database consists of Cambridge University Press Journals, Emerald database, EBSCO Host, OECD etc. Through these databases we can have access to thousands of peer-reviewed online scholarly journals. 

  • 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 pure sciences. Similarly, Project MUSE provides access to online database of peer-reviewed academic journals and e-books on humanities and social sciences contents. 

  • NepJOL database:  Nepal Journals Online (NepJOL) is a database of peer reviewed scholarly journals of Nepalese origin being hosted by TUCL itself. It was started in 2009 with the help of INASP, UK. NepJOL provides service to the journals by hosting their content online with free access to all of them. The objective of NepJOL is to give worldwide visibility and accessibility to the participating Nepalese scholarly journals. Till March 15th 2019, a total of 147 journals have already been enlisted in the NepJOL system. For more information please visit the site: 

  • Nepal theses database : TUCL has been maintaining Nepal theses database where all the Ph.D. theses and Master's degree dissertations submitted to TUCL by Nepalese scholars are uploaded and are given full access to. 

  • TUCL Publications : In addition to all the services and other day to day works, TUCL does also publish some useful documents from time to time. So far, it has published 38 documents comprising mostly bibliographies, lists of journals, abstracts, indexes, special catalogues in book form, technical tools for librarians and articles & research papers. Similarly, it does regularly publish annual reports, brochures and yearly compilation of periodicals' lists. 

  • CIP distribution: Like the Library of Congress and British library, TUCL also distributes CIPs (Cataloguing-In-Publications) to the books that are going to be published. It is usually done if the authors or publishers approach TUCL's technical section at the time of obtaining ISBNs for their books. CIP is bibliographic information of book such as author, title along with classification number, keywords etc. presented in card catalogue format and is printed on the back side of the title page. 

  • Old manuscripts, TU Archive and rare books section: TUCL has maintained a section exclusively dedicated to preserving old manuscripts and Tribhuvan University's publications since its inception. 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 will be given online access to them. 


Programs initiated 

Despite the library's shrinking space, precarious financial conditions and the shrinking number of staff (from 82 persons in 1980s to 41 in 2019) the library has initiated the following works in the running fiscal year. 

  • Data entry, conversion and record editing of ISBN data records in order to keep the records searchable through the internet. 

  • Working on a new software in order to initiate online distribution of ISBNs. 

  • Management of village profiles submitted by the NDS (National Development Service) Master's degree students of TU before 1980s. 

  • Uploading of theses and dissertations to make them searchable online. This year approximately 1100 theses/dissertations were uploaded and made searchable online. 

  • Recruiting trained volunteers in order to carry out pending works viz. theses uploading, ISBN data entry etc.


Future plans 

Tribhuvan University Central Library has yet to do a lot in the coming years in order to retain its glory of being big in collection and the volume of  services being rendered. The library has envisioned some plans that need to be materialized in the coming years. They are listed as follows. 

  • Retrospective conversion of the old card catalogues into computer database. 

  • Replacing the outdated barcode circulation system with RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification technology. 

  • Strengthening the E-Resources facilities, viz. INASP, NepJOL & NeLIC databases. 

  • Creating an up-to-date database of the ISBN records and making it searchable online.

  • Making the distribution of ISBNs through online.

  • Managing the old manuscripts, TU archives and the rare books collection by means of digitization.

  • Strengthening the professional expertise of T.U.Central library's librarians and constituent campus librarians' by means of holding trainings, conferences, seminars both at home and abroad.

  • Digitization of all the theses, dissertations and village profiles and making their contents available through OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue). 

Apart from the above plans, enhancing the seminar hall with necessary & useful equipment and strengthening relationship with national and international organizations, etc. are also in the list to be achieved in addition to day-to-day administration and smooth running of the library. 


Mr.Purna  Lal Shrestha,


T.U. Central Library,

Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal,

Email :