Libraries – in the real world and online
|   Aug 19, 2014
Libraries – in the real world and online

That children should be encouraged to read is a given. Whether their books should be physical or e-books is a hot debatable topic with my vote going for paper. Children today will rarely if ever experience the joys of running to the neighbourhood circulating library to hand over the week’s quota and select the next lot. While there certainly are libraries in the city, they don’t dot the landscape, with every locality having their own favourite haunt, anymore.  What follows is a list of the popular offline and online libraries.




Locality: Maharashtra Mitra Mandal (MCubed) Library, Princess Building, near Bandra Gymkhana, D'Monte Park Road, Bandra (West)The Maharashtra Mitra Mandal better known as MCubed was set up as a people’s initiative and remains a very popular library for adults and children. It is a library just like we used to have in the ‘good old days’ but in addition to offering a wonderful selection of books, it also serves as a venue for various events and workshops. MCubed is also invariably a platform where likeminded people can get together and share ideas. The library started uniquely for children but is now a full-fledged library for adults as well.

For more details, please click here.

Bright Sparks Centre Library

Locality: 11 & 12, Shah and Nahar Industrial Estate, Dr. E. Moses road, WorliMost school going children are familiar with the popular newspaper Robin Age. Bright Sparks is a multi activity centre set up by Robin Age and their library stocks over 1,000 books for children within a large, bright, happy space. Members can look forward to author interactions and other related events.

For more details, please click here.

Reading Tree

Locality: 2 Purna, Pochkanwala Road, WorliReading Tree is a library for children ages 3 years to 13 years and is stocked with general knowledge books, fiction and non-fiction in English, Hindi and Marathi. The library is often the venue for events and workshops.  Parents are welcome to accompany their children to the Reading Tree to sit and read, do puzzles and browse through the collections.  

For more details, please click here.

Akshara Children’s Library

Locality: 1 Sorab House, Ground Floor, Garden Road, off Colaba CausewayAkshara Children's Library is stocked with about 200 plus novels, picture books and comics for toddlers as also young adults. At this library you can find books in English, Hindi and Marathi.

For more details, please click here. 

Beetroot Library

Locality: G-02, Sarjan Plaza, 100-DR.A.B. Road, next to Copper Chimney, WorliBeetroot has books and toys for children 8 months to 12 years. The library is an activity centre that hosts regular workshops. The books on offer range from picture books, pop-up books, activity books and fiction to research guides and encyclopaedias.

For more details, please click here

Shemaroo Library

Locality: Shop no. 3, Om Chambers, Kemps Corner, August Kranti Marg, Kemps Corner, Malabar HillIf you look carefully in the busy Kemps Corner area, tucked between high end retails stores is a little circulating library that has stood the test of time - the Shemaroo Library. The three level library has something for every age group with the basement dedicated to children’s favourite books as well as educational game CDs.

For more details, please click here

Unnati Library

Locality: 207/D, Vasudev Sadan, ground floor, near Datt Mandir, Dr. Ambedkar Road, Matunga (E)Unnati Library has in excess of 30,000 books for children on a wide range of topics in English, Marathi and Hindi. They also have book for children who are mentally challenged and offer assistance with parents in how to use these books. This popular library has branches in other parts of the city besides Matunga.

For more details, please click here.

Nehru Centre Library

Locality: Nehru Centre, Dr. Annie Besant Road, WorliThe Nehru Centre Library is a reference library open to students, academicians and the general public. With high speed wi-fi and comfortable seating, this is a lovely spot to delve into a wide range of topics from religion, philosophy, social sciences, astronomy, arts and architecture, to literature, history, geography, biographies, and encyclopaedias. The up to date documentation centre has articles from newspapers and journals. Additionally, newspapers in English, Marathi and Hindi are available as are around 75 periodicals. This library also offers cyber centre and audio visual services that include access to video cassettes and Video CDs too.

For  more details, please click here.

NCPA Reference Library

Locality: National Centre for the Performing Arts, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point The NCPA Library has an extensive collection of books on music, dance and theatre coming from a background of promoting performing arts. However, this very lovely public library also has books on film, painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, television, fashion, magic and other topics that have been vital to the growth of India’s cultural heritage. The core of the collection comprises books on classical music with a focus on ethnomusicology. The world famous Stuart Liff collection of books and LPs on Western Classical music is housed here. Periodicals on Indian Arts may also be accessed at this library.  The music library is interesting with a listening room at which you can browse through a huge collection of records, cassettes and CDs.  For more information call 66223716 or e-mail:

British Council of India

Locality: British Council Division, British Deputy High Commission, 901, 9th Floor, Tower 1 One Indiabulls Centre 841, Senapati Bapat Marg Elphinstone Road The lending library of the British Council of India has books for readers of all ages with a dedicated section for children. The core collection centres around English, Arts, Education, and Society with print books, DVDs, audio books and 50 UK periodicals and newspapers. Their online library is also very popular with members. Call 18001024353 for membership details.Public libraries: we recommend at least one visit with children for a exposure to the classic library system

For more details, please click here.

Mumbai is home to a few well known public libraries (some of which are in dire straits due to lack of funding) with ancient books catalogued the old fashion way and placed on shelves from ground to ceiling. Some of them like the Asiatic Society Library with over 100,000 books may be overwhelming to young kids with high ceilings and heritage architecture. However, every child who enjoys reading should be taken to a few if not all of these classic libraries at least once in their formative years to take in the charm, sights and smell of rare manuscripts, scrolls, books, magazines and newspapers. Some of the other old libraries to consider for your tour include J. N. Petit Institute Library; David Sassoon Library and Reading Room; and Dr. Homi Kanga Memorial Sports Library at the Wankhede stadium complex. 




Most online book libraries are presented as Toy and Book rental services. They offer varied membership packages and generally require you to register with them. Membership allows you to browse through the collections, select books, set them up into a rental queue and then receive books at your doorstep based on the plan you have selected. These companies also arrange pick up facilities. Several online libraries also offer e-books and audio books for all ages.  There are many advantages to this system such as not having to make or find space for new books; access to a larger number of books at a fraction of the cost of buying; there’s no packaging to throw away; and it feels good to know many children will share the joys of reading.Some of the online toy and book libraries you can consider are:


Smart Cubs

Kidos Library

My Khilona

Online resources just for books


British Council’s mylibrary

Leaping Windows: Super collection of comics

One More Story

International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL)

Have we missed any other good bookstore or a library in this list? Let us know at

So plan a Book date with your child, add it to the Family Calendar with mycity4kids App.

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