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Sri Guru Ram Das Library, Amritsar


Origin

Sri Guru Ram Das Library is the official library of Golden Temple and is being managed by Siromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Amritsar. The committee is also running a Sikh Reference Library.

The library was started in 1921-22 by the Golden Temple management. It had a very humble beginning. The management decided to subscribe a few newspapers for the visitors at the Golden temple. The idea was a success. So, the management was encouraged to provide a few books to its readers. It was a very select collection that answered the readers quest for knowledge and understanding of the faith they were all sharing, Sikhism. That way the library came into existence.

At that time a philanthropist Bhai Daya Ram Giddu Mal from Sindi Bandra (Mumbai) established a public library in the memory of his beloved daughter Urmila Devi at Saheed Gangu Di Gali with an initial contribution of Rs. 5000/ that was deposited in a bank for later use towards the development of the library. In 1921 this library was also merged into the newly upcoming public library at Golden Temple. A spacious reading room was created for the library by joining two shops by removing the central wall near the councillor building. Later the library was shifted to the Ram Das Sarai till 1999 when it was shifted to its present location at Sri Hargobind Niwas. Since then the library is offering its services from the present location.

Building

The library occupies a spacious hall at the basement of Sri Guru Hargobind Niwas building. The hall has been divided into different functional units with aluminium and glass walls. The library is accessible from the entrance through a ramp way. Getting down on the left is the Punjabi Section and on the right are two rows of rooms facing each other with a free space in the center. On the left are the Librarian's room and main stack room area with circulation desk in the centre. On the right are the Newspaper and Magazine section and Reading Room. The building provides a peacefull environment for its readers, away from the rustle-bustle outside as thousands of devotees throng Golden Temple every day.

Location

The library is located at the basement of the Sri Guru Hargobind Niwas building just close to the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Staff

The library has following posts:
Sr.No.DesignationNo. of Posts
1LibrarianSukhwinder Kour
2Clerk1
3Attendents6

Collection

The library has a collection of more than 20000 books divided into different collections for the convenience of the readers. Most of the literature is on Sikhism and is in Punjabi language.However, books on sikhism are available in other languages also. A part of the library collection consists of donations of newly published books by the writers and publishers who share the faith and are writing/publishing on and about Sikhism. The library once had a rich collection of rare manuscripts also but now such rare resources have been moved to the Sikh Reference Library.

The library subscribes to 19 newspapers in English, Hindi, Punjabi & Urdu and 9 magazines.

Membership

The membership is open to one and all. The members have to pay a refundable security of Rs 1000/- at the time of Ist registration. The membership is renewable annually at a nominal fee of Rs. 10/-

The registered members can borrow 1 book from the library for a period of 15 days. In case of overdue items the library can charge a fine at the rate of 25 paisa/day.

Visitors (non-members) who come from far off places are also welcome. They are helped with all the material of their interest available in the library within the library premises.

Information Technology

The library is still working manually and digitization and automation is yet to start.

Working Hours

The library offers its services as under,

Summer: 9:30 am To 4:30 pm (Lunch 1 - 2 pm)
Winter: 10:00 am To 4:30 pm (Lunch 1 - 2 pm)

Contact

Sri Guru Ram Das Library,
Golden Temple Complex,
Amritsar (Pb.)-143006.
INDIA.
Phone: +91 183 255 3957/58/59 (Ext. 449)
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