Nearly seven decades ago, a public library in a small provincial town in India surprised famous English writer William Somerset Maugham with its immense collection of books and quality of service rendered to a society yearning for knowledge.
Amazed by the wide collection of world classics and continental literature there, including his own works, the English playwright wrote in the visitors’ book that he was ‘pleased and flattered’.
The library to receive the honour was the Trivandrum Public Library, then known as “Trivadrum People’s Library”.
The book house had been a repository of unique set of titles and periodicals including some very old foreign books not available elsewhere.
According to state Librarian P Suprabha, the library has such rare books which are out of print like the English version of the 16th century French work “Successors of Alexander” by Thomas Stocker.