A slimmed-down, manageable version of earlier library has been re-opened for public at the Sundarayya Vignana Kendram in Baghlingampally here on Sunday.
While the books have been reduced in their numbers to a sixth of what they had been, the existing 50,000 volumes are in themselves a treasure trove for book lovers. Mostly donated from various sources, the library has books pertaining Telugu and English literature, Marxism, Dialectical Materialism, Political Economy, Social Sciences, Fiction, Novels, and Classics.
The library remained closed for a year, as nearly 2.5 lakh tomes had to be transported to the organisation's new facility at Gachibowli, Secretary of the Samstha C.Sambi Reddy informed. It was the second major closure for the library since its commissioning in 1988. Earlier in the year 2000, it was closed down for over two years when the collections were totally submerged during floods.
All the books were safely retrieved with aid of Rs. 1 crore from the University of Chicago which had a stake in the library by way of a rare Urdu collection it had donated earlier. “That was when we understood the value of preserving books which are part of our cultural heritage. If they are lost, a link with our history is lost,” Mr. Reddy observed while presiding over a symposium on ‘Preservation of our Cultural Heritage' held after the re-opening.
Later, the organisation undertook a survey, and found rare texts and records in libraries of districts. With help from Ford Foundation and University of Chicago, the organisation could bring 40,000 titles under the South Asia Union Catalogue which is online , Mr. Reddy informed.
Director of the State Archives and Research Institute Zareena Parveen lauded the work done by the organisation and said there is an alliance between libraries and archives, as the latter served as primary sources and the former as secondary sources for the researchers.