Library Movement in Andhra Pradesh- Role of News Paper

Library Movement in Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh library movement has something unique. It is Swayambhvu i.e. self generating. This is the people’s movement. While in the other parts of the country, the libraries were established with the active support and initiative of British Government. But in A.P. the library movement has grown with the support of dedicated library workers and selfless persons. The library workers effectively spread this movement to the villages.

Iyyanki Venkata Ramanayya rightly said that library movements in other countries had tried to develop their intelligence only but in A.P. this movement tried to develop the personality of man and his life should move in right path. Library movement became the spring board to all other movements in A.P. i.e. social, political and literal. This library movement helped the other movements like home rule movement, quit India etc. This movement played a greater role in reform movement, Swadesi, Andhra movements. This library movement supported the independence movement and prepared workers to fight for the independence movement.

In Andhra region political, social and cultural renaissance started at the end of 19th and at the beginning of 20th century. Library movement is a part of that movement. Library movement participated in Indian National Congress programmes and other literal reform movements.

This library movement participated actively in the reconstruction of Nation. This library movement spread in villages through traditional and modem publicity techniques. Village library became an information centre and a pivot of social and cultural life of the village. Establishing more number of libraries in towns and villages, library movement became peoples movement and contributed a lot in eradication ofilliteracy and spreading worldly wisdom among people.

Factors contributed to the origin and spread of library movement

  • The introduction of printing in Telugu in 1806 gave impetus for the spread ofpublication activity. Gradually newly printed books started appearing in Telugu. As the number of printed books increased the establishment of public libraries, reading clubs, school and college libraries also steadily increased.
  • The spread of English education contributed for the growth of literacy among the population. In the industrial units and government offices the number of educated employees grew steadily. The need for reading rooms and libraries was felt strongly in view of the reading requirements of these educated employees and other classes in the population in their leisure time.
  • The partition of Bengal in 1905 and the political awakening in the country had its own impact on Andhra Desa. Stalwarts like Lala Lajapat Rai and B.C. Pal entered into freedom movement and toured the whole country including Andhra Desa inspired and awakened the people to dedicate themselves to the cause offreedom. The Vandemataram movement had great impact on the social and political stirrings, the youth felt the need for a ‘temple’ where they could meet and decide their future programmes. At that time the Andhra moment, begun in 1913. This Andhra movement helped to spread the library movement in Andhra Pradesh. During this period in the princely state ofBaroda under its enlightened ruler Sayaji Rao Gackwad, supported the establishment of public library system in his state with the expertise of William Boarden an American. The library development in Baroda state immediately attracted the attention ofthe social workers and intellectuals ofthe rest of India. The library workers in A.P. was no exception to this influence.
  • Besides the spread ofa communication network by road, by rail and by post resulted in an increase of agricultural production by making information accessible to the villagers and in this respect the libraries played a vital role and created a new awareness among the rural population.
  • The middle class people improved educationally and economically and social awareness has increased in them. So they started to think in a constructive manner. They are dissatisfied with the present social system. They showed interest in social reforms. At that time Kandukuri Veerasalingam entered and he agitated against the child marriages and woman partiality. He started widow marriages and publicized the use of Telugu language as the official language.
  • The language movement launched by Gidugu Rama Murthy Pantulu, which also contributed for the spread of the library movement. The language movement popularly known as “Vyavaharika Bhashodyamam” contributed for the growth of reading habits among the common people.
  • Gurajada Appa Rao had tried to introduce social reforms through his literary works. Komma Raju Lakshman Rao contributed a lot to make awareness about science. Kasinathuni Nageswara Rao is the founder of “Andhra Patrika”. He supplied his Daily Newspaper and other publications freely to the most ofthe libraries in the state ofhis personal interest.

Role of Newspapers in the movement

News papers played an important role in spreading the cause of Library and Andhra movement. Mentation may be made of- the role of Nilagiri Patrika (24-8-1922), Teiugu Patrika (27-8-1922), Golkonda Patrika (10-5-1926). These newspapers not withstanding of several odds, gave prominence in their columns to Andhra Movement and library movement and published information emanating from different parts ofTelagana region.

Decades ofthe library movement finally resulted in the passage ofthe public libraries act in 1948 by the combined Madras government. It was the first public library act in the country which led to similar enactments in other states. In 1956, the Hyderabad Library Association and its members had organized a movement and succeeded in forming the Hyderabad Public Libraries Act, 1955, the second piece of legislation ofits kind in India. After the formation of Andhra Pradesh state due to the reorganization of states in 1956, the movement became common to both Andhra and Telangana areas.

The movement was unified with the amalgamation of the two associations in Andhra and Telangana into the Andhra Pradesh Library Association in 1956, and similarly the two legislations were amalgamated in to A.P. Public Libraries Act, 1960.The A.P. Public Libraries Act, 1960 is an important mile stone in the library movement in the state.

The department of public libraries was established under this act has been making efforts to set up a network of libraries in the state and to improve the library services. Also the A.P. Public Libraries Act 1960 created a new institution at district level called Zilla Grandhalaya Samstha. The enactment of an integrated A.P. Public Libraries Act 1960 ushered in an orderly development and spread of public library services throughout the state.

In order to rectify the problems of libraries Government of A.P. appointed a committee in 1976 under the Chairmanship of Sri Gopal Rao Ekbote to review the working of public libraries and public libraries act also. A similar committee was appointed to review the private libraries in 1978 under the leadership of Vavilala Gopala Krishnaiah. While these committees came up with many recommendations. The reports ofEkbote and Vavilla Committee were released in 1978 and 1979.

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