PORVORIM, SEPT 3- Athaide Municipal Library situated in the Mapusa Municipal Council (MMC) will complete 125 years of its existence in November.
It may be recalled that when Goa was under the Portuguese regime, Dr Joaquim B Azavedo constituted a committee under which Athaide library was established on November 12, 1883.
Fr Francis Athaide had devoted his life in imparting education to thousands of youth in Bardez and in his memory a library was named as Athaide Bibliotheca (Athaide Library).
On April 9, 1897, the library was handed over to Camra de Bardez. After the liberation, Municipality Act came into force in 1968 and the library was taken over by MMC.
Speaking to Herald, Librarian Dyaneshwar Parsekar said that Athaide Library is the oldest Library in Mapusa, which subscribes 24 newspapers and 56 magazines, national and international covering politics, social science, health, information technology, entertainment, cookery, automobiles, economics and sports.
“Library serves about 5,700 members with a membership fee of Rs 10 for students and Rs 25 for adults. We have done the digitalization of old documents such as Government gazettes,” said Mr Parsekar.
On November 14, 2007, the children’s corner was opened in the library with the assistance of Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata, where educational CDs and computers have been kept for the children.
“Library has also set up separate reference section for the benefit of students of schools, colleges, universities and other readers who are doing research work and preparing projects,” he added.
Library is automated with e-granthalaya, a digital agenda for library automation and networking form National Informatics Centre.
MMC has earmarked Rs 1,15,000 for purchase of books, newspapers and magazines for 2008-09.
“Existing space is not sufficient for the library. Since library is completing 125 years on November 12, we will get Rs 1,50,000 from the Central Government for the purchase of computers, books and organize competitions,” said MMC Chairperson Sneha Bhobe.
“However, library does not receive any grant from the State Government,” she added.
Mohan Tendulkar, a library member, said that since 1980 he has been coming to the library regularly.
“This is a unique library where all types of books and journals are available and with the setting up of the children’s corner, this library has fulfilled the demands of children,” he added.