Monthly Archives: January 2016

Sabarmati Ashram to digitize Bapu’s books at MJ Library

In June 1935, the Sheth Maneklal Jethalal (MJ) Library was started with the donation of the personal collection of 9,650 books belonging to Mahatma Gandhi.

These had been Bapu’s treasure since his South Africa days.



Today, just a fraction of these survive – some books were never returned while others were stolen. Whatever is left of these books, lies in three medium-sized steel racks.

The library doesn’t even have the list of books donated by Bapu, which keeps them from conducting an audit.

The concerned new mayor, Gautam Shah, according to MJ Library sources, has given the go-ahead for the digitizing of these donated books by Sabarmati Ashram to help preserve the collection. The Mahatma referred to these books while preparing his speeches and while writing articles for his journals, Navajivan, and Young India.

Prior to embarking on the historic Dandi March, Gandhi was looking for a place to donate his personal collection from Sabarmati and Satyagrah Ashrams.

“This is a priceless collection and had it been preserved properly, from damage and theft, it would have offered an insight into what Bapu read during his stay in the city since 1915, when he returned from South Africa,” said a senior library official.

The library also has 8,891 books donated by Swami Akhandanand. It had also received an initial donation of Rs 55,000 for the building from Sheth Shri Rasiklal Maneklal.


Source- timesofindia

Libraries cry for attention

Sainath, Lloyd Dooland, Anita Soloman Raj and Sandip Mukerjee are residents of the Secunderabad Cantonment. Each one of them is well educated and holds high position but ask them about a public library in their area and they feign ignorance. Though there are four libraries and two books deposit centres in the Secunderabad Cantonment, outdated books, remote locations (barring one), dilapidated buildings and lack of awareness about the libraries make them unpopular among the residents.

Barring a few retired employees and housewives who reside close to the libraries few visit them. Ashwin Allari Naidu, United Federation of Residents Welfare Association, Alwal says, “The Bolaram Reading Room dates back to British period. Today the library is in a sorry state with just a few newspapers. The Secunderabad Cantonment Board should stop collecting library cess.”


Last year the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) collected Rs 28.30 crore towards property tax out of which the library cess component was.6 per cent. Rajaramana, another resident of Lothukunta asks, “Why should the residents pay library cess when 99 per cent of 6 lakh population does not use the facility?”

The SCB has four libraries in Bolarum, Macha Bolaram, Bowenpally and Tirumalgherry and two books deposit centres at Vasavi Nagar and Teachers Colony. The SCB allotted land to the State Government to set up libraries. M Nagaveni, librarian of Tirumalgherry says, “On an average 60-70 people visit the library per day.” However, when this reporter visited the library there was just an octogenarian reading a newspaper.

The libraries are open between 8 a.m to 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. Even the books deposit centres at Vasavi Nagar and Teachers Colony are limited as books are circulated for a 15-days period. The Resident Welfare Associations provided space and furniture for the centres. Nagaveni says, “If more colonies come up and provide space we could cater to a wider population.”

Among the four libraries, the Tirumalgherry library is the biggest with a new building but has just 18,000 books mostly novels and very few books on education and career. The Secunderabad Cantonment is spread over 41 sq km with a population of six lakh with a majority of youth.
Though the lifetime membership fee is just Rs 100 there are very few takers at the moment.


Source- thehansindia

100-year-old library starts rare collection digitisation

The non-descriptive building of the Deccan Muslim Institute barely draws attention of the students on the Azam campus. A look inside will reveal a treasure house of rare books, some as old as 150 years.

The institute’s history will tell stories about why the Bhagwad Gita and the Guru Granth Sahib in Urdu and the Quran Sharif in Marathi were the most sought after books, how libraries have lost their importance as cultural centres where youths freely discussed about religion, economy and society, over a cup of tea.

On Friday, the institute which started off as a library celebrated its 100 years. “The library was established in 1915 in a small rented room near MG Road. Since then it has been shifted many times finally settling here near Azam campus. It’s the largest Urdu library in the state. It has over 30,000 books, of which 20,000 are in Urdu,” said Mohammad Asif Shaikh, principal, Deccan Muslim Institute.

The library also has about 800 rare books. “There is Tareekh-e-Palanpuri which is written in Urdu about the history of Palanpur. Then there is Kuliyat-e-Shams-wa-Tabrez which is an intense poetry in Persian. All these books are so old now that