Reader’s Refuge: Libraries in The City

New Delhi, unlike many metropolitans or capital cities of the west, is not known for its public library system. The run down Delhi Public Library opposite Old Delhi Railway Station cannot really be compared to the state funded libraries around the world; however it maintains a network of libraries in all the zones of the city. Apart from this there are many other libraries run by more private organizations that are a great place to go to if you want to escape the noisy city and dive into the world away from your own. Here we list some such like this for you.

Delhi Public Library: Located at S.P.Mukherjee Marg, Opp. old Delhi railway station, this library was started in 1951. The library has books of all sorts for Adults, Children, Reference and Social Education Department. This library also has two Auditoriums the “Amir Khusro” and “Geetanjali” where programmes of literary nature are often organized. It would be hard to commute to this library, lost in the crowds and squalor of Old Delhi, again and again, and hence the Public Library has sub-branched all over the city. For more information about the sub-branch near your area log of to

 Work hours: 10:00 am to 6:45 pm

Nearest metro: Chandni Chowk

 The American Library: If you have come to the city to prepare for civil services examinations you would not be a stranger to this place. The Library located in the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place, is almost a refuge for IAS aspirants who escape to this place to study in silence. But it is not just a nice hall to study in. It has an enormous collection of books and movies that, if you are coming from a small town, will play a great part in education you and opening up your mind. The library has screening of movies and organizes talks regarding current issues around the world. In summers the air conditioning and the free wi-fi are good enough reason to visit this library.


Address: American Center, 24 Kasturba Gandhi Marg

Work hours: 11:00 am- 6:00 pm

Contact: 011 2347 2000

Nearest metro: Barakhamba Metro, Rajiv Chowk  

 The British Council: Another place where civil service aspirants take refuge. The library at The British Council is a bigger and in ways more colourful than the American one. Its colourful walls and carpets are a welcome changed from the somber wooden interiors of the American center library. This one too is a multi-media library and has a vast collection of classic and contemporary British books that are hard to find elsewhere. The library is located right opposite the American center so you can look at both of them and choose which would better suite you in the same trip.

Address: The British Council, 17 Kasturba Gandhi Marg

Work hours: 9:00 am- 5:00 pm

Contact: 0120 456 9000

Nearest metro: Barakhamba Metro, Rajiv Chowk  

 Max Muller Bhavan: A little further down Kasturba Gandhi Marg is our forth good international library. The Max Muller Bhavan is a cultural center and language schools of the German Embassy, and by extension the German Government. The library here will offer you a multi lingual choice of material to watch and read. The library houses a selection of the latest print and audiovisual media in German and in translation to keep you informed about the current issues in Germany. 40% of their collection consists of books and media in English language. They have an excellent specialized selection for our focal areas of the performing and visual arts, literature and philosophy.


Address: Max Mueller Bhavan, 3 Kasturba Gandhi Marg

Work hours: 9:30 am- 6:00 pm

Contact: 011 2332 9604

Nearest metro: Barakhamba Metro, Rajiv Chowk  

 Alliance FrançaiseSimilar to the German establishment, this is the cultural and language school of the French Embassy in India. The center is very popular as it organizes many cultural and musical events. It also has monthly or bi-monthly writers meet called “Writers and ect.” The library here too is a multi lingual one. It has books in French, English and also some other European languages. If you are a cinema buff and wish to discover French cinema but don’t know where to start you should come here. The library also has many book clubs operating under it. Its collections include books, magazines, journals, movies, music, and comics for all ages.


Address: 72, KK Birla Marg, Lodi Estate

Work hours: 9:30 am- 6:00 pm

Contact: 011 43 500 221

Nearest metro: Khan Market, Jor Bagh

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