Public Library – Trivandrum, Kerala

Photo Credit: Aswin V.N.

This well-loved library, the first Public Library in India (est. 1829) was contributed by Rekha Vijayalakshmi, young library enthusiasts Sid Shiv and Aditya Nair, as well as by Anjana Kurien. Each author’s story is in a separate page. Read all and  share your own too.

Author: Rekha Vijayalakshmi

The picture of the stately Public Library brings back the countless summer days in the children’s section of this building, the kind faced Ayah who introduced us to so many authors, the Nancy Drew books in faded blue hard cover, the mustachioed gentleman at the counter who always knew we were up to no good, the painting lessons by teachers from the Fine Arts College and the ice cream at the Milma kiosk.

I recall too that this was the eighties, the age before computerization, and that we had to state our member number to withdraw books. (Mine was 5365- B; the drubbing I got one day for saying 5635 by mistake has etched that number in my brain.)

A group of us kids would go there early on Sunday mornings, to exchange the Hardy Boys books at the counter itself, before they hit the shelves. If we were late, we would have to settle for the exploits of Jennings and Darbyshire or other unfamiliar adventurers.

The books in the adults section however were often in poor condition, and it was painful to see the lack of care. I wonder if it is better now.

Next Page: Sid’s story


7 comments on “Public Library – Trivandrum, Kerala

  1. I would have gladly traded all my” Hardy Boys” for a Jennings those days🌝 How can you even suggest it as second best?😁 I nearly wept when a precious Jennings I got was confiscated at the counter saying the book is damaged..and no amount of pleading would persuade the guy at the counter to release the book! And he says there are a ” a lot of other hardy boys inside.” Why are you so insistant on this damaged one?…😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Trivandrum Public library is one of my most favorite libraries because it is much larger than the American libraries I go to. I also like it because it has an extremely wide variety of books to choose from.I come here every summer from USA and my grandparents take me. I like to choose from the science and religion section because they are my two favorite interests. I pick encyclopedias for science and Amar Chitra Katha as my choice of religious books.

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    • My summer vacations also used to be spent there, my dad used to drop me and my sister there either in the afternoon or in the evenings on weekends. Dad also used to and still spends lot of time in that library. As a kid, I used to enjoy their collection of Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew, their collection of Amar Chitra Kathas and Indrjal comics…

      Mini Nair

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My dad used to take me to the Public library on weekends when I was a kid. While he used to mostly settle down with a book (I believe from the malayalam section), I was more fascinated by the reference section with all the encyclopedias. I loved going through them and reading about random things every week. Today, I spend a lot of time reading Wikipedia instead – although technology has brought information to our fingertips, nothing can replace the excitement of going to the library to spend the entire afternoon flipping through those glossy pages .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats to Sid for being our youngest contributor, and a true library lover. Kudos. When we were young, the children’s section was in the same buiding,


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