History
The library which originally started functioning in a thatched building was by this time occupying a tiled building in the north eastern corner of the present Maharaja’s College premises. While the library was located in this building an effort was made to construct a suitable building to house it , and amounts were collected for this purpose. The extract amount collected cannot now be ascertained, but the Government of cochin offered to give suitable accommodation for the library .The Town hall Building was constructed. One floor of building was given to the library, and the other floor was utilized as the Legislative Assembly. This was in 1922,and form that time up to the time the Legislative Assembly was shifted to Trivandrum, the library functioned in that building. After the formation of the State of Travancore, `cochin, and the formation of the Travancore ‘ Cochin High Court, when the building was needed for housing the Law College, the library was again shifted, this time to the building belonging to the Chandini Company near the BTH which was then in charge of electrical supply in Ernakulum. When the Chandini Company was taken over by the Kerala Electricity Board, and they wanted the building ,the library was again shifted, this time to the Ravi Varma Mandhir, on T.D. Road.

In 1970 when the Centenary was celebrated, we had a total of 750 members, inclusive of 3 Life Members ,180 First Class Members ,260 second Class Members and 307 Subscribers. The total number of books we had included 14189 English 7348 Malayalam and 353 Hindi Books. We had also 10240 books belonging to the Distributing Library which was a separated section under the Government but managed by us.
This was the position of library in 1970 when the centenary was celebrated. Cramped in the Ravi Varma Mandhir the old building standing to the south of present Library Building. The space available was quit inadequate, and we had no means of increasing accommodation, as the land and for the construction ,the most suitable being of course the land occupied by the Ravi Varma Mandhir. The Government finally passed an order on July 25, 1970 sanctioning 45 cent of land on which the Ravi Varma Mandhir stood to be given to be given to the Ernakulum Public Library. The land was actually handed over to the Library only nearly two years later.
Plan for a suitable building was then made .The plan were made with certain goals in view. The construction had to be undertaken without demolishing the old building,so that the Library could work satisfactory while the construction of view building was progress .Again the construction had to be taken up in stages as finances become available. After completion of the northern block which was the first taken up, it should be possible to demolish the old building and take up construction of the southern block.


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A Master Plan with all these aspects in view was prepared ,which when complete would have about 42,000 sq.ft. area, and could accommodate a library having over two lakhs of books, with enough space for other needed services like Reference Library, Members Room , General Reading Room ,Technical Services Selection etc.The foundation stone of the new building was laid by Sri.C.Achutha Menon, the then chief Minister of Kerala. The ground and first floors were completed on 28-2-1974, and the library was shifted to the first floor on 3-3-’74, the inauguration being again performed by shri. C. Achutha Menon.

The second floor was completed on 19-1-77, and the members room and general reading room, the ladies and children’s room and managing committee room where shifted to that floor, the inauguration being performed by His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Parakkattil.The Third Floor of the building consisting of an auditorium was completed in June 1987 ,the total cost of construction being Rs. 7,61,000/- The auditorium can seat nearly 500 persons in comfort, and the stage is suitable not mearly for holding meetings but also for cultural show. The Membership was steadily increasing, and by 1980 we had 2 Institutional members ,45 Life Members, 328 First Class Members, 1959 Second Class Members and 813 Third Class Members. With a view to giving participation in the management to all users of the Library. Subscribers had by this time been made Third Class Members with voting rights.

By 1990 the membership has grown to 3 Institutional Members, 104 Life Members, 669 First Class Members,1941 Second Class Members and 1849 Third Class Members . The total stock of books have also been increasing over the years, and at present we have 47248 English Books,30665 Malayalam Books, 4777 Hindi Books,2891 Tamil Books, 200 Sanskrit books And 127 French Books.



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