Can you guess one of the basic necessities of life baring, of course, the “basic needs”? No, it’s not having a license to visit a pub or owning an Apple I-Phone or the latest I-pad; it’s having an access to a good library. In spite of knowing the truth of the sentence, we feel reluctant to do the same. Our major excuse to this end remains, “I don’t have enough pocket money to apply for a membership to any good library.” To meet this end, we’re presenting to you a list of public libraries in Mumbai where you don’t have to shell out any paisa as membership fees—
The Jawaharlal Nehru Library is the main library of the University of Mumbai and is located in the University campus at Vidya Nagari as well as at Fort. In spite it being a University library, it has kept its doors open to all people who crave knowledge but do not have (or do not want to shell out) money for memberships. This library is famous for books on pure science, behavioral and social sciences though it’s also considered quite a treasure trove as it houses some great and rare manuscripts and documents. The library houses almost a million of books, journals and encyclopedias as well. Done in the British style, if you’re a book lover and traveling to Mumbai, you must never miss out on this one.
If you love archaic buildings and old books, then you must never miss out on the David Sasoon library which has also been named, in the year 2006, as one among the 47 classical libraries in the world! No, this library wasn’t founded by Sasoon, but it got its nomenclature as a result of a massive donation of books that Mr. Sasoon had donated. Situated in the heart of the city, at Mahatma Gandhi road, David Sasoon library is a treasure trove of ancient books on social sciences and the literature of regional languages, some of whose first publication date goes back to as early as 1789!
Contrary to the popular belief, the H. D. Kanga Memorial Sports Library does not just house books, journals and encyclopedias only on sports, though it is undoubtedly famous for it. It has a good stock of books of all the disciplines and if you want to read something deep as well as relaxing (quite a bit of an oxymoron, we know!), then this place is just apt for you. It is located in Church Gate at Mumbai Cricket Association, Wankhede Stadium (ground floor). If you crave for some knowledge about sports then it is mandatory to visit this place—you might just get bumped into Gavaskar or even Sachin Tendulkar!
Founded in the year 1803 as one of the foremost branches of the Royal Asiatic Society founded by John Mackintosh, this library has been on the roll ever since. Due to its valuable backing, the library houses innumerable books and manuscripts which are not only ancient but also rare and invaluable. Anyone who loves to gain some serious knowledge about different aspects of social sciences, then this place is the one. Besides, this library hosts over 3000 odd manuscripts in ancient languages like Sanskrit, Persian, Prakrit and Pali—and all these comes at no cost at all. Isn’t it some great deal? So, the next time you’re in the city, make it a point to visit this place.
The most modern library among the above 4, the British Council library has a great collection of all the books (including rare manuscripts, documents, etc.) that have been written by anyone who has been a British by birth or whose country have been under the British Colonies. Their well-updated website helps you to keep a track of all the books in the library, on membership rules—they even have the option of home-delivery of books! Chick-flicks or serious stuff, you’ll get everything here in the British Council Library—and all these, at no cost at all!