Tamil Nadu

Vellore’s oldest library reopens

VELLORE,TAMIL NADU: 24/07/2021: The staffs of Thanthai Periyar E V R District Central Library,Vellore arranging the books after the government relaxation to open the libraries after lockdown on Saturday. Photo: Venkatachalapathy C /The Hindu  

During the British rule, the Indian sepoys did their daily parade between the granite-built Fort and the Officers’ Lane, a quarters for Englishmen, on the Infantry Road in Vellore. They repaired their boots, stitched their uniforms and bought turbans in a row of small shops along the narrow stretch.

Since independence, the 500-metre-long Infantry Road is no longer for men in uniform alone. It has other guests — book lovers. The District Central Library, which was reopened on Saturday after a closure of more than a year and a half due to pandemic, has been the centre of attraction for visitors for more than five decades.

“We are happy to see our regular readers at our library. We sanitise the library regularly and ensure people wear masks. Hope these measures will the confidence of the readers,” said E. Ganesan, the chief librarian.

Named after the social reformer Periyar, the library was started in a small building in 1951. Five years later in 1956, the then Chief Minister K. Kamaraj laid the foundation stone for the present building, which was inaugurated in November, 1959.

Currently, the library has 1.82 lakh books with 28,895 members. The library has books in Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Hindi and English on different subjects. Nearly 200 periodicals and 22 newspapers are also part of the library’s collection.

Prior to the pandemic, every day, on an average, 1,200 readers visited the library. The library has also stored bulletins and gazettes since 1983. It has a separate section for civil service aspirants and persons with disabilities.

Except on Fridays (holiday), library function between 8 a.m and 8 p.m. On Saturday, the District Central Library received 1.5 lakh books on various subjects. The new arrivals will be distributed to other libraries in Vellore.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 9:03:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/vellores-oldest-library-reopens/article35517759.ece

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