Visakhapatnam Public Library turns a new page

It sports a new look with bright, colourful walls, well-lit corridors and activity corners

The Visakhapatnam Public Library is all set to throw its doors open to its newly-developed second floor spread over 8,000 sq.ft. area. The completion of the project marks a new beginning for the library that was inaugurated in December 2003.

Located at Dwarkanagar, the library is today the exact opposite of the perceived image of dusty book shelves, creaking fans and dim lights. In its new look, the library extends a warm welcome with its bright colourful walls with motivational slogans, well-lit corridors, activity corners, conference hall and a hum of airconditioners.

The new addition of the second floor has general sections, children’s activity room, a Gandhian section and a conference hall. “We plan to make the children’s section with a forest theme by putting up pictures of forests and animals on the walls. The idea is to mark this dedicated place for children where they can come and pick up books to read or participate in various activities like story-telling or drawing,” said D.S. Varma, secretary of the library, who was instrumental in taking forward the renovation concept of the 18-year-old library. Among the new features, the library has entry through door access systems, e-learning facilities for online mock examinations, and providing a plethora of competitive examination books as well as access to The Hindu newspaper for career aspirants.

The idea of the library was conceived in 1996 by a group of like-minded citizens that included former mayor D.V. Subba Rao, D.Ch. Tirupathi Raju, M. Varahala Chetty, A. Prasanna Kumar, K.C. Reddy, B.S. Sastry and N.V.S. Murthy. While the foundation stone was laid on October 23, 1999, it began operating from July 15, 2004.

The library today has more than 42,000 members from all age groups. It has an inventory of 50,000 books with a plan to add more.

The first floor, which was renovated in 2019, has designated rooms for studying, general reading and a computer lab. Inside the reading rooms, all one can hear is occasional sound of turning pages or scraping chairs.

Speaking about the transformation of the public library, Prof. Prasanna Kumar, former Rector of Andhra University and founding director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said, “The goal of the library is to bring children back to books and to raise a library with difference, enabling people of all ages to read in soothing ambience. Right now we are passing through a civilisational crisis. During this challenging time, the Visakhapatnam Public Library instils hope in the youth by providing them with a window of opportunities and solace for the senior citizens.”

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