Where reading matters most

JAN 16 -

Libraries are an integral part of any public system and have introduced many of us to some of our favourite books and authors. The Post looks at a few libraries around Kathmandu that are open to the Nepali populace

AWON Library

AWON library, located opposite Hotel Himalaya in Kupondole, has been in Kathmandu for more than four decades. The library, run by Awon—Active Women of Nepal, an organisation for community service, depends mainly on public donations of books and other publications, and is one of the most popular in Kathmandu. While the first level of the library has non-fiction books and magazine publications, the third mostly houses fiction. The library is quite spacious and comfortable, and even has a little corner for children’s books. Members can check out up to five books for three weeks.

Kathmandu Valley Public Library, Bhrikutimandap

The Kathmandu Valley Public Library (KVPL) formally opened its doors to the public in Bhrikumandap in July of 2005. Books at the library books are mostly donated by various groups and organisations, and there are currently 50-80,000 books, reports, bulletins and teaching materials there. While most of the books are non-fiction, there is also plenty of other reading material. Additionally, books from the British Council Library have also been housed at the Kathmandu Valley Public Library since the former shut down some seven years ago. Library membership is open to all (including children).  

Nepal National Library, Pulchowk

The Nepal National Library was established by the government in 1957. The core collection was the personal library of Rajguru Hem Raj Pandey, spiritual advisor to the King, which had been purchased in 1956. The collection was then moved to Sikri Dhoka, within the Singha Durbar complex. It was in 1961 that the Nepal National Library was moved to its present location at Harihar Bhawan, Pulchowk, Lalitpur. In the early 60s the National Library produced an impressive series of publications, making ancient handwritten texts available in printed form. A full card catalogue for the Nepali, English, and Hindi collections was finally completed

in 1988. The present collection includes general English, Nepali, Hindi and Sankrit titles, alongside periodicals, maps and photographs, audio and visual material, microfilms, reports and theses, children’s books, as well as a digital library.

Nepal Bharat Library, Sundhara

The Nepal Bharat Library was established in 1956 and is currently located within the Nepal Airlines Corporation Building in Sundhara. The library has more than 62,000 books, including a substantial collection on Indian history, economy, politics, literature, culture, science and technology, medicine, entertainment, and international relations, among others. The library houses a large collection of Hindi books and a reasonable number in Nepali and Sanskrit, alongside an extensive collection of reference books. The NB Library also subscribes to all major Indian and Nepali newspapers and magazines, alongside a few regional publications from India.

The American Library, Maharajgunj

The American Library, formally known as The American Library of the American Embassy in Kathmandu has been around for more than 60 years. Located inside the Embassy premises in Maharjgunj, the library houses approximately 6000 books as well as a substantial number of DVDs on international relations, economics, arts and humanities, and US society, among others. The library also has American movies, and a few online databases which cover leading journals. Reference resources available at the library include dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, almanacs, periodicals, periodical indexes, CD-ROM databases and on-line search services. All books are classified according to the Dewey Decimal Classification System, while the magazines are shelved alphabetically. The American library also offers the use of the Internet for research on America and related subjects.

 

Posted on: 2013-01-16 09:01