Batticaloa’s Public Library

Situated near Batticaloa Gate in Puliyanthivu area, Batticaloa’s Public Library was founded in 1855. It has a collection of more than 60000 books in 3 languages (English, Tamil, Sinhala). Adults, youth and kids eager to read can enjoy its different sections and facilities open everyday except Wednesdays.


A newspapers reading section was established in 1855 under the Dutch government. Batticaloa Public Library was established in 1884 (British period) and run up to 1932 by a local board. In 1933, the library was handed over to the Urban Council. Since 1967, the library has been run and developed by Batticaloa Municipal Council.


BranchesBatticaloa’s Public Library is the largest library in Batticaloa District. It has 12 branches, including 2 Grade-3 libraries in Kallady and Puthur, and 7 reading rooms (newspapers and magazines) situated in Bar Road, Sinna Urani, Navakkudah, Boundary Road, Barathy Lane, Iruthayapuram and Maddikaly. 3 newspapers reading rooms exist in Manchanthoduvai, Kokkuvil and Jeyanthipuram.

Books: The library is well resourced with around 60000 books in Tamil, English and Sinhala languages. They are classified according to the Dewey Decimal Classification system. In the lending section, members can borrow 2 books at a time for a period of 2 weeks.

Sections: The main sections of the library are the lending section, the reference section, the children section, the computer section, the newspapers section and the periodicals section.

Additional Services:  The library offers space for studying, as well as an auditorium. Photocopy facilities are available, as well as a special collection of information about Batticaloa. The tourism information centre is situated in the library’s compound and run by the library’s staff. A Nanasale section (global knowledge to the village) runs some computer courses and offers internet access as well as printing and scanning facilities.

Staff: There are 16 staff working in the main library and another 15 working in the other branches.

Members: The library has around 13000 members and 250 users visit it  every day.

Future plans: New library buildings are currently under construction. Since March 2013, a Korean volunteer librarian supports the modernization and development of the library.


The reading spaces of the library are accessible to all. To borrow books, it is necessary to become a member.

People living in Batticaloa Municipal Council area can become members. To apply for the membership, users have to fill a form and pay a fee (25 Rs per year for children and 200 Rs per year for adults).


From 8.30 AM to 6.00 PM everyday except Wednesdays (all sections).

The newspapers reading section is open 7/7 from 8.30 AM to 8.00 PM (except on Wednesdays and public holidays, only from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM).


The main library is situated near Batticaloa’s Gate in Puliyanthivu.

Location on the map:

Contact Person: Librarian

Batticaloa Public Library

Chapel Road


Tel: 065 222 24 84

Email: librarybatticaloa (at)

Nearby Places: Old Dutch FortPuliyanthivuButterfly Peace GardenKoddamunaiBatticaloa’s MarketHandloom & Handicraft Sales Centre, Sri Mangalarama Buddhist Temple, Hindu Temples.


This article has been written by some English students of Village Empowerment Academy, who first studied an article about Jaffna library, then designed a questionnaire, visited the library and interviewed the librarians, took photos, wrote the article and got validation of  its contents from Mrs. Kamalini, the chief librarian and Mr. Sivanathan, Batticaloa’s commissioner . The persons who participated in the different steps of this process are: K.Sugitha, R.Divya, P.Sinthujah, K.Sandranath, E.Charls, S.Jeyaruban, M.Mauran, T.Kiruthika, K.Dilanika, JI Yeon Park, Mrs. K.Rajeshwary, G.John and D.Sandrine.