Library

The great Roman philosopher, Cicero, once wrote in “Letters to His Friends” mentioning the importance of a having a library - “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." Truly, stepping into a room full of books leaves you amazed at the vast amount of knowledge and experiences captured there in words. Our city Bhuj is fortunate to have many libraries. Two of the most well known libraries are Maharao Vijayrajji Sarvajanik Pustakalaya and Sarkari Zilla Pustakalaya.


The oldest library in our city is Maharaoshri Vijayrajji Sarvajanik Pustakalaya, established in 1868 as a Trust. After the devastating earthquake of 2001, when the library was completely wiped out, it took three years for the Trust to start a fully fledged library, though a makeshift library started under a tree opposite the present library. The building was constructed from the local MP-MLA funds, and a whole new collection of books was put up by purchasing new books, and with the help of some donors. The present library became functional since 2004. It is located at a prime location in the heart of the city, on the banks of Hamirsar Talav. It hosts more than 20, 000 books in Gujarati, Hindi and English and more than 35 newspapers and magazines in various languages and subjects. For reading, the library remains open from 8 to 11.30 in the morning and from 4 to 8 in the evening. The library offers two types of membership – general and life. To become a general member, one has to fill up a form, get it signed by a Gazetted Officer and submit it with a one-time deposit of Rs. 50 and a nominal fee of Rs. 50 for a year. To become a life member, one has to pay a fee of Rs. 501, after which he/she can avail the facilities and benefits of the library throughout his/her lifetime. At present, the library has more than 800 life members and 400 general members.


Another major library in the city is the Government District Library, located in the Middle School Ground opposite the Bhuj S. T. Bus Stand. Established by the Government of Gujarat in 1961, the present library, post earthquake, became functional in the present building in 2005, until when it was working in a temporary shed. The District Library boasts of having a mobile library, which travels to various villages in the district. This encourages the habit of reading among the village community. The District Library offers membership to both adults and children. For obtaining membership, one can fill up the form, get it signed by a Gazetted Officer and submit it with a deposit amount of Rs. 40 (refundable) and Rs. 10 as fees for five years. For children the deposit amount is Rs. 8 and the fee is Rs. 10 for five years.  Presently, the library has 1333 members. It hosts 38, 450 books of varied subjects and varied languages, 11 newspapers and 30 periodicals in different languages. The library timings are 8 to 12 in the morning and 3 to 6 in the afternoon. The reading room remains open from 8 a. m to 12 a. m. in the night for students.


Students and elderly are among the regular visitors of both these places. The librarians of both the libraries feel that although there is a rise in number of readers over a period of time, more people should take benefits from the library.

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