The Taiping Public Library, once known as the Independence Memorial Library, is situated on the main thoroughfare in and out of Taiping Lake Gardens from the city, at the junction of Kota Road and Esplanade road. It is very close to the District Office and Town Council buildings and only a few minutes’ walk away from the Lake Gardens. The Taiping Public library, when it was originally constructed in 1882 was the first library in Malaysia (then known as the Malay States). The original building was used as a reading room for British military and government officers.
The current Victorian-architecture building that serves as the library was constructed in 1912 to replace the original reading room. It was constructed by the British government and subsequently leased to the Chartered Bank of India, Australia, and China (which is now known as the Standard Chartered Bank) reportedly for an initial sum of $40,000. It is the first known instance of a building constructed by the government for a bank in this country.
The building was finally returned to its original role as a library in 1966 under the care of the Taiping Town Council. The Independence Memorial Library was officiated on November 5, 1965 by the then Sultan of Perak, Sultan Almutawakkil Shah Ibin Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Kaddamsallah. Its doors opened to the public in January 1967.
In 1986, the building was put under the purview of the Perak State Library Corporation, and renamed the Taiping Public Library. An additional building was constructed in 1990 to expand the library and to house more collections. It remains one of the largest libraries in the state of Perak.
Tuesdays to Saturdays: 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Sundays: 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
Closed every Monday and on all public holidays.
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