Central Library Bahawalpur History
By Noman Afzal
The Central Library of Bahawalpur (Urdu: سنٹرل لائبریری بھاولپور) is an old and worth mentioning library of Pakistan located in Bahawalpurcity of Punjab province. It has the collections of 105000 books. The building itself is a piece of art which construction started in 1927 people of bahawalpur devoted 100000 rupees for construction.It is the 2nd biggest public library of the province. It possesses, besides vast collection of old newspapers since 1947 and even later than it, more than lac books and a fair number of manuscripts.
The Building of the Central Library of Bahawalpur was Initially Commencemented by the former Aamir of Bahawalpur His Highness Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan v (Late) at the celebration of his crowning as the Aamir of Bahawalpur with Sir Rolfs Daniel Ishaq Vice Rae of India on 8th of March 1934.
For the construction of the building the people of the former state of Bahawalpur aided less or more one lac rupees. The money was provided officially in installments by the government employees in the form of their one month salary. The Area for the building of the library, approximately 88 canals 10 Marlas was provided by his Highness. The construction of the building started from 1927 and was unfortunately not completed in seven years because of the lack of funds.
Due to this not only the construction of the building was postponed but The Custody of the building was given to the Department of Municipality Bahawalpur. Municipality Bahawalpur completed the building in only thirty five thousand rupees made it their office and Set up a small library.
A few months back before the independence of Pakistan Nawab Mushtaq Ahmed Germani was the Prime Minister of the former state of Bahawalpur. He felt severe lack of a good library in Bahawalpur and decided to take the building, furniture and books under official custody from the Department of Municipality Bahawalpur.
He decided to rename it from Sadiq reading library to Central library Bahawalpur and more that it will be altogether central. There will small libraries in other small and big cities of Bahawalpur under the administration of this central library Bahawalpur. Accordingly the Government of Bahawalpur decided to set up the Central library on the second floor of the building 1947 and started to tolerate the expenditures of the library after a long argue.
From 1947 to 1958 library worked on the second floor of the building but in 1956 the collection of the books of the library exceeded the limit of storage on the second floor of the building So this matter was given in the notice of the officials because all of the building was constructed for the library. That the building should be dedicated for library purposes. Municipality Bahawalpur was not ready to leave the building.
At last after the struggle of six years due to the attention and Cooperation of Syed Hashim Raza Commissioner of Bahawalpur Municipality left the building for the library in 1958. After the adjacency of the former State of Bahawalpur with Pakistan in 1955 this library is working fine under the administration of the Provincial Government.
Today the Central library of consists of three beautiful and good looking buildings. In these buildings there are three main sections of the library containing a main hall, women and children section and the third one is the newspapers section. Besides that there is an AV section for non books stuff. The collection of the books is over one lac in this library and record of newspapers is available from, before the independence of Pakistan to today. Over twelve thousand members are gaining benefit from this library.