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MJ Library

More than 90 years old, The Sheth Maneklal Jethalal (MJ) Library in Ahmedabad boasts of a collection of several lakhs of books, both old and new. The library attracts connoisseurs of old books as it stacks books and epics that are highly regarded in Hindi literature such as the Upanishads and Vedas. One can spot large-sized portraits of well-known leaders of old India at the library.

When the library began operating, great leaders of erstwhile India donated books here, most of which are intact even today. The library also has a mobile van facility for readers who cannot come to the library to issue books. The MJ Library has emerged as a prominent landmark of Ahmadabad and membership can be accessed for a nominal fee.

MJ Library

The MJ Library was inaugurated by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on April 15 in 1938. The library started with donations from Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Akhandanand. They gave 9650 and 8891 books to the library respectively. Sheth Shri Rasiklal Maneklal had also extended an initial donation of Rs 55,000 towards construction of the library. The library added more books with a handsome donation from Sheth Maneklal. About 98 employees work with the library at present.

Ahmadabad city has about six branches of the MJ Library. Seeing the present routine of its readers, the library also started a mobile van service that delivers books at readers’ doorsteps. The library gets about 522 newspapers on a daily basis and magazines that are in eight languages. The technology boom has also prompted the library to have an e-books section and launch a digital library.

What to Expect

As you make way to the Sheth Maneklal Jethalal (MJ) Library in Ahmadabad, history will turn several pages for you as the books here were donated by leaders like Mahatma Gandhi. You’ll also be amazed by the magnificent architectural splendour of this library and its crisscross of corridors.

The grand architecture of the library is suitably complimented by life-size portraits of well-known freedom fighters. Some portraits here also depict important events that occurred during the fight for independence such as the Dandi March. Readers can also access a huge dictionary that is kept on a high pedestal. Several rooms stack books, both old and new on their shelves.

The Legacy

The library has an approximate 6 lakh books with more being added on a routine basis. The library has books in several national and international languages such as Gujarati, Hindi, Bengali, English, French, Sindhi, Greek, Italian, German, Sanskrit, Portuguese and Urdu.

Readers can also access books on philosophy, religion, mythology, chemistry, media, mathematics, literature, politics, music and art. The library provides access to Vedas, Upanishads, Ayurveda books, autobiographies and biographies. You can also find books on competitions and more.

Useful Information

Timings: 8 AM TO 8 PM

Membership fee: Rs. 200 (annual membership); Rs. 1,500 (lifetime membership).

Digital library membership fee: Rs. 150 (annual); Rs. 500 (lifetime)

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