Public Libraries in India

Thanks to those who replied to my earlier post on public libraries in India. Additional comments are still welcome.

Having access to books is a subject close to my heart; hence this quest to find what’s really going on with public libraries in India.

A preliminary search has led to some interesting discoveries, none of which I, as aam junta, was aware of before.

1. Most Indian states have adopted the Public Libraries Act which makes it the state’s responsibility to run libraries in every district. Maharashtra adopted it in 1967.

2. Several organisations that work solely to promote libraries and information transfer flourish in India. They seem to hold lots of seminars, conferences and publish papers; perhaps some of that work is trickling down to the grassroots, but I cannot be sure of that.

3. Libraries come under the Department of Culture. The main culprit, oops, I mean people responsible for the state of affairs : Raja Rammohan Roy Library Foundation

4. The Education Dept of Mumbai’s Municipality says they have 6 libraries providing the teachers with valuable education material. (What happens to the students?!)

5. The Dept. of Culture provides financial assistance to libraries incase someone’s interested in applying.

From my fellow bloggers (and elsewhere), here are details of public libraries :

Links to a listing of libraries
– 11 British Council Libraries in Ahmedabad, Bangalore , Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad , Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi , Pune, Thiruvananthapuram
4 American Information Centres in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, and New Delhi (USIS).

Tamil Nadu
Thanks to Shoefiend and Chandrachoodan for the info.
1. Connemera Public Library (or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connemara_Public_Library)
2. Theosophical Society Library, Chennai
3. UV Swaminatha Ayyar library of Tamil literature

1. Khuda Baksh Oriental Public Library, Patna

1. Asiatic Society, Mumbai
2. Bhavan’s library , Mumbai
3. Dhananjayarao Gadgil Library, Pune
4. David Sassoon Library, Mumbai (is this a public library?)

1. State Central Library

1. Karnataka Public Libraries (official website)

1. Panaji

West Bengal
1. National Library of India (Kolkatta)
2. North Bengal State Library

Other links to the (somewhat dismal) state of public libraries in India
1. Libraries and librarians in India on the threshold of the 3rd millennium: challenges and risks (paper)
2. Public Library Systems in India (book)
3. User expectations in Private-Public libraries in India (pdf article)
4. Reading Rooms (newspaper article / The Hindu / 2004)
5. National Policy on Public libraries in India (paper)
6. Library development in India (newspaper article / The Hindu / 2001)
7. Information literacy and public libraries in India (pdf)
8. The story of libraries in India (web article)
9. Public Library Services in India: Systems and Deficiencies (web)

1. aam junta – common man


3 comments on “Public Libraries in India

  1. From your previous post, I couldn’t recollect any public libraries in India. But now you gave this list – & I thought “Hmm, I did know about the British Council Library. But I just forgot”
    Public Libraries Act – i cant even imagine that India actually has a Law/Act about them !

    Also, your mention of the fish market in Chembur in the prev. post inspired me to write

  2. ……..
    Also, your mention of the fish market in Chembur in the prev. post inspired me to write

  3. Just like you, I believe that a love of reading is very essential for any culture. The Indian Public library system is in a sad state. I am envisaging a project to revamp the public libraries in Pune – the informaiton on your blog is useful. If you wish to be involved, please write to me on ritooathotmaildotcom

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