A good measure of the literacy and civility of a society is its value for books, which can best be determined by the collection of books in its libraries. Bengaluru should be quite proud of itself, as the city is home to quite a few libraries, many of which are highly underrated. If you love reading books, need to do some research, or simply need a quiet place to study, you need not look further than these 8 libraries.
1. State Central Library
Bengaluru’s State Central Library is one of India’s biggest and oldest libraries, making it an instant favorite with readers and history-buffs alike. The library celebrated its centenary last year and boasts of an enormous collection of books from various categories, including a huge collection of works in Indian regional languages. The books are well organized and the library has huge reading rooms, where you can lose yourself in the books. The library is open between 10.00 AM to 08:00 PM, but is closed on Mondays and second Tuesdays of the month. There’s another perk to reading here; the library is located within the idyllic settings of Cubbon Park.
2. Indira Priyadarshini State Children's Library
Although listed as part of the State Central Library, it is a library in its own right. Housed in a separate, independent structure, about 200 meters away, the children’s library is also within the precincts of Cubbon Park. The library services can be availed free of charge and it has a huge collection of books, including reference material and children’s literature. The library which was setup in 1999 is open from 10 AM to 5 PM from Monday to Saturday.
3. JRD Tata Memorial Library
JRD Tata Memorial Library, which was formerly known simply as the Library of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), is now one of most impressive educational libraries in the country. The library was one of the first administrative departments to be set up at the institute, having been established back in 1911. It is regarded as one of the best libraries of its kind in the country and possibly the world because of its commitment to research and enlightenment. The bulk of its Rs. 12 crore annual budget goes into subscriptions for international mathematical and scientific publications like periodicals and journals, ensuring that visiting academics and scholars have access to the latest information.
4. Sri Ramakrishna Ashram Library
Sri Ramakrishna Ashram Library is a noteworthy library that is part of the Ramakrishna Math, on the famous Bull Temple Road. This may not be the place to visit if you are looking for academic and scientific information, but it boasts of a huge collection of books on spirituality, philosophy, lifestyle, yoga, and more. The library has more than 12,000 books, 30 periodicals, and it also has a reading room. The library is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 9 am to 12 pm and from 4 pm to 6:30 pm.
5. IIA Library
The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), which is headquartered in Bengaluru, is renowned as one of the country’s best research institutes and it is also home to a huge library. The library is open to students, faculty, and visiting scholars from across the country and the world. It provides access to a wide range of works on astronomy and physics, with over 20,000 volumes of books. It is also well-stocked with scientific periodicals and journals. The strength of the library lies in its rich collection on observational astronomy and theoretical physics. The library is open from 9 am - 5.30 pm, and is only closed on Sundays.
Image Sourced From: https://www.iiap.res.in/facilities/library
6. City Central Library, Jayanagar
Located in the South Zone of Jayanagar, Bengaluru’s City Central Library houses a collection of more than 50,000 books. It may not be as large as the State Central Library, but it is no less important to the city’s population, especially for students and youngsters living in the area. The library has a huge reading area, and visitors can even pick up a book and read in the small park just in front of the building. While the ground floor is stocked with reference books, the first floor hosts a newspaper reading area. The library functions between 8:30 am to 8 pm.
7. City Central Library, Indiranagar
The City Central Library, of Indiranagar, is located just off 100 Feet Road, near Domlur. This is why it is often referred to as City Central Library, Domlur. The city provides an invaluable service to the residents of the Domlur and Indiranagar area as it has a huge collection of books, periodicals, and newspapers. Its reading room, however, is what is most popular, as it attracts plenty of students. This is a haven, where you can read, research, and study, in a peaceful learning environment. The library is open seven days a week, from 9:30 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm.
8. British Council Library
The British Council Library of Bengaluru is one of the best libraries in the city. The library is credited with shaping some of the brightest minds over the decades of its existence. The library has been the go-to destination for educators, students, and readers across various age groups because of its impressive collection of books that are neatly categorized. The library has also embraced modernization and digitization, with patrons now able to browse through their catalogue online, add books to a rental queue, and request both delivery and pickup.
With all of these libraries to choose from, Bangalorean bibliophiles are certainly a lucky bunch. So, take your pick and begin exploring the city’s public libraries today.