Department of Public Libraries officials non-committal on opening the District Central Library in its original location, though the new building has been ready for a few months

The wait for book lovers to see the District Central Library shifted back to its original location on the West Boulevard Road in the city is getting longer by the day. The new building for the library, though ready over the past few months, awaits a formal opening.

One of the oldest and the biggest in the State with a collection of over 1.5 lakh titles, the library was shifted to a private building at Sethuraman Pillai Colony in 2007 after Anna Platinum Jubilee Building, at the site owned by the Department of Public Libraries, was demolished on grounds of public safety. The building was demolished after a protracted legal battle as tenant shopkeepers in the basement resisted any move to shift them out.

Ever since, the library has been functioning on rented premises at Sethumaran Pillai Colony, much to the disappointment of regulars to the library who had been using it for decades when it was functioning at the heart of the city near Singarathope.

The library building has since been re-built at a cost of Rs. 4.30 crore with separate sections for reference, record rooms, and magazines

All civil work on the new building, with a total plinth area of about 3,200 square metres over two floors, was completed in January. The then Minister for School Education, N.R.Sivapathy, along with senior officials of the department inspected the building and had said it would be opened soon without specifying a date.

It has been over five months now, but there is still no indication when the library will be restored to its original premises.

“We wish the library was back at its earlier location soon. I, along with my friends, used to drop in regularly at the library then to read magazines and refer to books. We find it difficult to commute up to Sethuraman Pillai Colony now as it takes much time,” said R.Gopalakrishnan, a city resident.

Officials of the Department of Public Libraries remain non-committal saying that steps are being taken to open the new building and shift the library soon. Some interior works are still under way, an officer said.