Genesis of Visakhapatnam Public Library

The idea of a good public library for the people of the fast growing city of Visakhapatnam was conceived in 1996 by Shri M. VarahalaChetty of Book Centre. He persuaded like-minded friends to come together to transform the idea into a reality. A small body of founding members comprising Sarva Sri M. VarahalaChetty, V. Seetaramaiah,D. Ch. Tirupathi Raju, A.Prasanna Kumar, K.C. Reddy, NVS Murty, and GVSL Narasimha Raju called on the then Mayor Shri Sabbam Hari, who instantly welcomed the proposal and convinced the corporators about the utility of such a library accessible to all sections of the society. The Mayor generously allotted a land of about 2000 sq yds in Dwarakanagar, the heart of the city, for the proposed library. Credit must also be given to the municipal corporation and the Commissioners like Shri J. C. Sharma, Shri K. Raju and Shri Sanjay Jaju for their role and support in raising the library. It was agreed that while the proposed library would be owned by the Municipal Corporation, a trust board consisting of prominent persons be constituted to manage the library, taking care of every aspect of its functioning. Shri VarahalaChetty persuaded the eminent Professor of economics and former vice-chancellor Shri B. Sarveswara Rao to be the first President of the Visakhapatnam Public Library governing body. ShriVavilalaSeetaramaiah was elected Secretary and the other members wereSri.M.VarahaluChetty, Vic- President, JanabKasimS.Mehdi- Vice President, Sri.A.S.N.Prasad- Hon.Treasurer,Prof. A.Prasanna Kumar- Member ,Dr.S.Vijaya Kumar – Member, Prof.G.V.S.L.N.Raju – Member, Prof K.C.Reddy – Member, Sri. N.V.S.Murthy- Member, Dr.B.S.Sastry – Member.

The foundation stone was laid by the then Mayor Sri.Sabbam Hari on 23rd October1999. The Library was inaugurated on 3rd Dec-2003 byH.E.Shri.Surjit Singh Barnala, the then Governor of Andhra Pradesh. The library started functioning formally from 15th July 2004.

The goals and objectives of the VPL were prepared and among,the main objects is to bring children back to books and to raise a library with difference, enabling people of all ages to read in soothing ambience and benefit from the facilities provided.

Later Smt Rajana Ramani, who succeeded ShriSabbamHari as Mayor, lent active support in the completion of the huge project. Shri VarahalaChetty received the support and guidance of former Mayor and legal luminary Shri D.V. Subba Rao in mobilizing resources. The Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and Port Trust, headed by Shri S.R. Rao helped the committee in taking up the construction work with financial support. Funds were collected from individuals and institutions.Shri K. S. Sastri, founder of Gandhi Centre, gifted his personal library and donated Rs one lakh to the library.

Shri D.V. Subba Rao took over as President of VPL following Prof Sarveswara Rao’s demise in September – 2010 and the library progressed on a trajectory of steady growth. When Shri D.V. Subba Rao passed away in December 2014, it was decided to restructure the library by entrusting the responsibility of its management to younger persons. Accordingly Dr S. Vijayakumar became President, Shri D.S. Varma Secretary, Sri.Surya Rao, Joint Secretary and K.V.Guptha, Treasurer.

Visakhapatnam Public Library expresses its gratitude to former librarians Shri G.Krishna Reddy and Shri D. Muarlidhar for their services and to Prof. B.S.R. Anjaneyulu, retired A.U. Professor for his support and suggestions in the selection of books and in the improvement of services.

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