Maria Pia de Menezes Rodrigues. Texts, Tomes, Treasures: The Evolution of Goa's Publica Livraria (1832-2005).
[Goanet-News] New book stresses importance of libraries, books to Goa
PANJIM: On World Book Day (April 23), a new book just published here notes
that Goa's public library is among the oldest across India. It was set up
way back in 1832, even before Calcutta and other cities had public
It is also well known that Goa had the first Gutenberg-type printing press
in the whole of Asia. Private libraries, municipal libraries, and other
initiatives have taken the book to the reader in Goa, suggests this book,
which is authored by Maria Pia de Menezes Rodrigues, former Curator of the
State Central Library Goa.
It reminds us that the library can play the role of being a "people's
university", and that libraries have been in India, in various shapes and
forms, since the Indus Valley Civilisation, and during the British Raj.
Post-Independence, special efforts were made to promote the spread of
In Goa itself, besides initiatives in the colonial state capital, there
were municipal libraries running out of Mapusa, Salcete, Ponda, Panjim, and
A string of private libraries were started around the early 20th century,
some of which like the Saraswati Mandir Library in Panjim, and the Gomant
Vidya Niketan Library, Margao, continue to function even today.
But much remains to be done to spread the libraries effectively to serve
all areas of Goa, specially rural Goa.
Goa's Publica Livraria, as the institution was first known, has changed and
morphed much during its 18 decades of existence. It now has plush new
premises at Pato, at the entrance to the Goan State capital.
This 160-page book documents the changes over time of the institution now
known as the Krishnadas Shama State Central Library.
This book also includes 14 pages of photographs of various other libraries
today -- including Mahalaxmi (Mala), Sharada Mandir's, Livraria Confidant
(Margao), NIO, Saraswati Mandir, Kala Academy, DMC Library (Assagao), the
Archbishop's Archives, and Bookworm (Taleigao).
The photos, with an essay appreciated the importance of the book, are by
Gabriella D'Cruz, a young student. The 160-page book is priced at Rs 200
and available at Confidant (Margao) and other outlets.