City Library – Information Center Library, Connaught Place
A city secret.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Many of the shelves are simply empty, but occasional visitors do turn up anyway at the Information Center Library tucked away in the city’s busy Outer Circle in the colonial-era Connaught Place.
This state-owned library—and so beautiful—opened in 1955 with high expectations. Until a few years ago the facility was filled with visitors and journalists discussing politics or poring over the many newspapers and magazines.
Nowadays quite a few of those publications no longer arrive, but old newspapers are thoughtfully preserved in handbound volumes.
Aficionados of print editions would appreciate this. Magazines and journals collected over the years are also crammed in similar bound volumes.
A half-hidden chamber actually has metal closets with hand-operated lockers that you would find in libraries of a certain vintage—but impossible to run across these days. In short: library connoisseurs must snoop about this place if they haven’t already.
A patron now turns up. He reckons the government might soon shut down the library altogether. “Hardly anybody comes here,” he says quietly.
But you might consider visiting the library, maybe with your own book (since there isn’t much reading material within reach), and spend the day at that long table beside the large window. No membership card is needed.
The Information Center Library is run by the Press Information Bureau of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. And is open daily from 10.15 am to 5.15 pm. Closed on weekends.
Hidden in plain sight