International and Comparative Librarianship

S. R. Ranganathan, P. N. Kaula, R. N. Sharma, J. F. Harvey, D. J. Foskett, J. P. Danton, M. M. Jackson, etc.
This Blogosphere has a slant towards India [a.k.a Indica, Indo, South-Asian, Oriental, Bharat, Hindustan, Asian-Indian (not American Indian)].

Friday, August 21, 2009

Private Circulating Libraries in India

Note: This post is about non-public, i.e., privately funded &/or sponsored &/or independently managed libraries in India. This post is also about fee-based, or subscription based libraries. The public libraries in India, free for all, are funded by the state governments; University, college, research and school libraries are managed by respective institutions.

"The history of circulating libraries (in India) finds its place before 1770s. This was John Andrews Circulating Library in Old Fort premises at Calcutta. It survived for a short while and by 1780s it closed. Not only did this library circulate books to subscribers it also allowed its members to take home its catalog for consultation. What more user-friendly librarians did the people need? Why did this library so nice and so kind, close down? Perhaps, people did not know the value of such a friendly situation. This was also a book selling store. During this period we have historical evidences of existence of other similar circulating libraries." (p.77) Subscription or fee-based) libraries include Calcutta Book Society (founded 1817) with its branches in Bombay and Madras, Calcutta Library Society (f. 1818), and British Council's first library in Bombay (f. 1953) and American Library in Caclutta (f. 1943). Librarianship and Library Science in India : An outline of historical perspectives. (Mohamed Taher and Donald Davis) New Delhi , Concept Publishing,1994

See also:

PUNCHLINE: "I can’t maintain my literary habit if I’ve to buy the books I want to read. So the libraries and road side stalls come to my rescue. And it so happened that I visited the Book Fair." continue reading this note: The American Library (Chennai)

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