Chennai: Located in the busy stretch at Kavignar Bharathi Dasan Salai in Alwarpet is Chennai Circle Library. Upon entering the library from noisy environment outside, we are transformed into an atmosphere that is serene with bibliophiles hooked into their favourite book or a group of people reading the periodicals and magazines.
The library has been functioning for the last 35 years and it is managed by librarian R Sakthivel along with a grade-two officer, N Annadurai and two grade-three officers R Kalaimani and Ayothi.
Speaking about the library, Sakthivel the librarian says, “The library was inaugurated in the year 1984 by the then Minister of Parliament, J Jayalalithaa. It has been in the same place for the last 35 years and it is attracting the people living in the city who wish to spend quality time with books.”
He says that the library houses over two lakh books. “We subscribe to ten English and Tamil dailies each apart from nearly 150 magazines which are kept at the ground floor itself for people to use, apart from that there is also an exclusive kids section containing 7,000 books and a lending section that contains books segregated in different sections.”
In the two-storied building, the first floor has an exclusive reference section containing books for students in varied sections like maths, physics, chemistry, computer science, zoology, botany and even Tamil. There is also a separate section for IAS candidates where there are more than 4,000 books available to help aspirants.
“The library sees nearly 100 visitors every day who are mostly patrons and make use of the lending facility. The library has over two lakh books and provides drinking water and toilet facilities as well. One speciality here is, people residing anywhere in the city can become a member of this library and make use of the facilities here,” adds Saktivel who also says that to become a member of the library people will have to pay Rs. 10 as the annual fee along with an additional 50 rupees initially to make use of the lending facility.
The regular visitors to the library has formed a Readers Circle and another group called Vaasagar Sandhai, through which they organise events to the school students to spread the importance of library and awareness to the current generation.
“With technological advancements youngsters there days are not attracted to the library and even the reading habit in them has diminished so to make them know the importance of libraries, we conduct special programme for kids conducted regularly every week, that includes workshop on story telling, cultural games, singing, drawing etc,” says Sakthivel.
“We are also visiting government schools and are regularly organising awareness camps to the students about the importance of the library.” He also adds that they are planning to organise a guidance camp for the students preparing for competitive exams in future.
“In the last five years we have been creating awareness to the students and people are coming back to the library even from far off places. We need more students to come to the library and use our reference section as we have a lot of collection that will be very useful to the students,” he adds.
DR Kumar, vice president of Readers Circle, further says, “From the time the library was constructed, I have been a regular visitor of the library. So with the Vasagar Salai and the Readers Circle we are planning to organise more activities for the development of the library. We are planning to organise a mega rally with school students and go around the locality to create more awareness to the current generation,” he says.
The library will be closed on all Fridays and on second Saturdays and government holidays. The library is open from 8 am to 8 pm.