Despite no luxurious seats or air-conditioners, laptops or desktops, and no power boards to plug in mobile phones, the Shahalibanda library located in Lal Darwaza continues to charm its visitors even in the present era.
One of the oldest libraries in the city, the Shahalibanda library attracts hundreds of young readers who aspire to get selected for government jobs – both state and central or the public sector undertakings.
Set up in 1953, the library was inaugurated by the then home-minister Digamber Rao Bindu. It is a much-sought place because of its peaceful ambiance. According to the local leader A Jitendra, many youngsters bagged government jobs after preparing here for the qualifying exams, where they spent months preparing for exams and subsequently succeeded in their attempts.
The library has a collection of more than 70,000 books in six languages, Urdu, Telugu, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, and English. There are dictionaries as well in Hindi, Telugu, Urdu, and English. Books useful for students preparing for medicine, law, engineering, and other competitive exams are also part of the collection. Whenever job notifications are announced, the library authorities provide books of various publications most sought for references by the job aspirants.
The library is open to the public on all working days between 8 am and 8 pm. Bhavya, who is preparing for CA exams, said she is a regular visitor to the library for the past many years. The peaceful ambiance gives the job aspirants to concentrate fully on their studies.
Jagadesh Reddy, a resident of Uppuguda, says that he is planning to apply and appear for the police inspector recruitment exam. He came to know from his seniors that many youngsters who prepared for the exams at this library bagged various government jobs.
The librarian Venkatiah says since the students are also seeking an extension of the library timings so that they could spend more hours in preparation here, the management is considering extending the timing by a couple of hours.