Chandigarh, with a population of 900635, located in 241 miles (388 Kms) north of New Delhi, is one of the most visible examples of planned city among all the new cities of India. The city is located at bottom of the picturesque Shivalik range of the towering Himalayas. Two seasonal rivers, Sukhna Cho and Patiala Rao, bound it on east and west respectively; the area is flat, but with a gentle slope ideal for drainage. It has an extreme temperatures rising to an unbearably hot 45 degrees Celsius in summer and falling to almost freezing in winter. Citizens of the city beautiful Chandigarh enjoy the highest democratic rights in the country with least interference from any quarter. The city is cosmopolitan in nature; it has people from all over the country. Quality education, professional – colleges, advanced medical facilities here have no parallel. City has one of the best library networks.
Libraries in Chandigarh have been developed in phases. The first phase T. S. Central State Library in Sector-17 was established to cater to the reading needs of the residents of 30 sectors. With the development of more sectors, towards the south of Dakshin–Marg, it was felt that the T. S. Central State Library was not enough to meet with the reading requirements of all the residents of Chandigarh. Furthermore with the development of the third-phase of Chandigarh and, the coming up of satellite town Mohali, it was felt, all the more necessary to set up another big public library in the south Chandigarh. With the idea of fulfilling this need, State Library in the sub-city center in Sector-34 was conceived, as a hub of creative activities.
State Library – 34, was inaugurated on 14th August 1995 by H.E. Lt. Gen. Sh. B. K. N. Chibber (Retd.), Administrator Chandigarh and Governor of Punjab. It was initially started with collections of 5000 books of which about 2000 were gifted from T. S. Central State Library, Sector-17 and rests were received as donation from the general public.
With the coming up of State Library–34, the Sector-34, which is being developed as city sub-center, holds promise for lots of cultural and intellectual activities. This library has in its premises, the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi and Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi. The activities of these Akademies make the environment of the library all the more lively. The library has developed as the hub of cultural and intellectual activities of Chandigarh.
State Library is an organ of social democracy and an instrument of self-realization. Library has been characterized, from the beginning, by its commitment to the goals of promoting and enlightened citizenry; providing the opportunity, materials, encouragement and stimulation for continuing self education and serving the community inside and outside the walls. The library in Sector-34 is housed in a large building spread over an area of more than 2400 sq. Yrd. in the form of three floors its layout is as under:
Its basement houses children section, acquisition section, binding section and various stores.
The ground floor contains a sprawling newspaper and magazine section along with a reading–room, lobby and the office.
The first-floor has the circulation section, technical section and the reference section besides the various academies of the Chandigarh Art Council.
At present only the basement, ground floor and first floor of the building is complete. In future it would require more space in order to keep pace with the growth of library and subsequently rest of the building shall be completed.