State Libraries

Public Library System in India


His Highness Sayaji Rao Gaekwad III, Maharaja of Baroda, was a great visionary, who pioneered the development of Public Library System in India as early as 1910. He carefully devised a programme of mass education compulsory in one district in 1893, and extended it to the entire State by 1907, and also made elementary education compulsory to all boys and girls in the State. His Highness also realized that Universal Education required, as an essential supplement to it, a network of free public libraries, which would keep literacy alive, and enable men and women in rural areas to have access to source of knowledge not hither to open to them. Again the Maharaja insisted that “libraries should not limit their benefits to the few English knowing readers, but should see to it that their good work permeates through to the many”, and that “the vernacular libraries should be encouraged” so that every citizen of the State “may enroll himself as a pupil in the peoples’ university-the library”.

With this noble idea he set up free public libraries in the State beginning from 1910. For this purpose he established a separate Library Department with Mr. W. A. Borden as the first full time Director of State Libraries. The next step was to establish a Central Library at Baroda with a nucleus collection of 88,764 volumes which included the Maharaja’s private collection of about 20,000 books. A full time Curator of Libraries with a staff strength of around 50 were appointed to manage it. It is mind-boggling to learn that even a century ago the Maharaja arranged purchased of a Photostat camera and a camera projector by the State. The projector was utilized to view the silent (Mookee) films etc.

He also launched publication of a quarterly journal called Library Miscellany in English, Gujarati and Marathi with Shri J. S. Kodalkar as its first editor, started Library Associations from Taluk level, organized ‘Mitra Mandal’ (friendly groups in the libraries) in the town and village libraries and organized regular library conferences. Mobile library service was organized to cater to the book need at remote villages. The Maharaja also established an Oriental Institute and Library with 6,846 printed books and 1,420 manuscripts in Sanskrit, Gujarati and other languages. He was the first to initiate the publication of Gaekwad’s Oriental Series in 1915. This was the first public library system in the country. The successors of Gaekwad III had no interest in the public libraries programmes. Due to lack of royal patronage, the great public library system of Baroda gradually wore off. It again picked up only after the implementation of the Gujarat Public Libraries Act in 2001.


INDIAN STATES AND U.Ts. In India, there are 54,856 public libraries (Survey Report ORG-MARG) starting from English Colony Library at Chennai in 1661. There is no authentic survey over their growth and decay. Most of these public libraries were managed by voluntary organizations, and did not continue long due to lack of adequate financial support from the public. Presumably, almost 50% of such public libraries started by voluntary organization would close down after a period. Only those public libraries which are supported by public library legislation or State Government, through continuous grant-in-aid, are functioning. Before 1950, there were about 6000 public libraries in Andhra Pradesh State organization by NGOs. Now this figure has reduced to 3000 or less. The scenario may be identical in other states also. 

Public Library System in Haryana


  • To conserve and protect the character of the existing literature and history of nation.
  • To promote institutional capacity development and knowledge networking.
  • Inculcating reading habit among students, general public to make society progressive.
  • To promote literacy and disseminate useful daily information to the people and encourage lifelong leering through its reading material and resources.
  • To provide opportunity ensuring freedom and equal access to information for all members of community, to educate and enlighten them.
  • To create awareness and opportunities for all the library stakeholders.


Above objectives play vital role for delivering valuable knowledge to each section of the society for which some special corners and sections has been established in every library. which includes the following:-

  • Digital corner (E-Granthkosh)
  • Braille corner
  • Specially abled section
  • Newspaper and magazine section
  • Children section
  • Sister Nivedita corner


Each District and Sub-divisional libraries organize various activities every year for the visitors, below list represents the activities that take place every year:

  • Book fair and exhibitions
  • Celebration of days of National Importance
  • SOUL Training
  • Extension Lectures (Skill Development, literature, mental health)
  • Plantation drive
  • Azadi ka Amrit Mohotsav
  • Poems and lectures on literature.

Public Libraries at a Glance

Sr no. Name of Public library Total Books Library Website URL Phone Seating capacity Life Members
District Libraries
1 State Library Ambala 90189 8708148719 150-200 8604
2 District Bhiwani 50325 01664-2426 200 5297
3 District Faridabad 30105 0129-22995 NIL 436
4 District Fatehabad 21212 222272 50 299
5 District Gurugram 42415 9518407212 285 6831
6 District Hisar 48500 7015147588 150 2055
7 District Jhajjar 18825 01251-2530 50 265
8 District Jind 18167 297514 150 2982
9 District Kaithal 19995 07146-2333 300 1410
10 District Karnal 53000 9050341300 200 1400
11 District Kurukshetra 49267 0174422188 200 2982
12 Model library Narnaul 61991 01282-2578 120 778
13 District Nuh 15262 271235 50 112
14 District Panchkula 24247 2929385 60 909
15 District Panipat 18319 1802640110 50 613
16 District Rewari 19070 01274-2206 50 827
17 District Rohtak 53325 1262255399 75 3276
18 District Sirsa 34177 9896820255 250 1852
19 District Sonipat 43157 2988376 100 1777
20 District Yamunanagar 23976 0173248818 80 1220
Sub-Divisional Libraries
1 Sub Divisional Adampur 17046 9466869539 30 124
2 Sub Divisional Bahadurgarh 10689 01276-2305 20 326
3 Sub Divisional Gohana 15331 01263-2578 50 227
4 Sub Divisional Hansi 16787 9466206553 20 471
5 Sub Divisional Mandi Dabwali 19396 9416351853 25 203
6 Sub Divisional Charkhi Dadri 15687 01250-2155 20 805