Iyyanki Venkata Ramanayya
Konkuduru, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh
Known forthe Architect of the free Public Library Movement in India
  • Venkataratnam (father)
  • Mangamamba (mother)

Iyyanki Venkata Ramanayya or Ayyanki Venkata Ramanaiah (24 July 1890 – 1979) has been called the architect of the public library movement in India".[1] He is the first Indian to be awarded the Kaula Gold Medal.[2] Through his career as an influential library leader, Ramanayya was seen as a respected peer and mentor by S. R. Ranganathan.

Early career

Iyyanki Venkata Ramanayya was born in Konkuduru village, Ramachandrapuram taluk, in East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, to Venkata Ratnam and Mangamamba.[3] He studied in Tailor High School.[citation needed]

Influenced by Bipin Chandra Pal, Ramanayya entered public life in 1907 at the age of 19. He was instrumental in establishing the First State Library Association in Indian – Andhra Pradesh Library Association (1914) and the Bengal Library Association (1925). He contributed to the foundation of the Madras Library Association (1928) and the Punjab Library Association (1929) at state level and the All India Public Library Association (1919) at the national level.[citation needed]

Between 1934–1948, Ramanayya toured the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and organised large-scale library tours. As a result, hundreds of libraries were opened and many others reopened. He organised training camps for the library secretaries in 1920 and 1934.[citation needed]


Ramanayya never worked as a librarian in the technical sense but he founded thousands of public libraries throughout India, and South India in particular.[4] P. Ramachandra Rao describes the Andhra Pradesh library movement;[5]

In the general context of the national library movement, the Andhra library movement was conspicuous and significant, unique and described as “swayambhuv” (self-born) by Iyyanki Venkataramanayya. It was a social movement with popular participation, organised with democratic ideals, more for imbibing political consciousness and spreading literacy rather than for mere organisation of reading rooms and systematic libraries.

Ramanayya founded literary journals such as Andhra Bharati (1910), the first Telugu-language illustrated monthly, which informed people of Telugu related information. He also founded Grandhalaya Sarvaswam in Telugu in 1916, being the first professional journal on Library Science from Vijayawada,[6] as well as the Indian Library Journal in 1924, which was the first professional journal on Library Science published in English from Vijayawada.[citation needed]

He helped establishment of Raja Rammohan Library in 1911 in Vijayawada. He started All India Citizens' Library Association in 1919.[citation needed]

Other works

Ramanayya organised hundreds of meetings and conferences at the national and state levels. People such as Rabindranath Tagore, P C Roy, and Chittaranjan Das were reception committee chairmen or presidents of different All India Public Library Conferences organised by him in various parts of India. He was the first secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Library Association along with N. Krishna Rad in 1914,[7] as well as the All India Public Library Association which started in 1919.

Ramanayya donated about 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land in Ayyanki village for development of various facilities. A Shiva temple, known as Ganga Parwatavardhani sameta Sri Ramalingeswara Swamy, exists because of him.[citation needed]

Legacy and awards

The Indian movement to build libraries in several states and in the rural, less accessible areas, can be attributed to Ramanayya's organising capacity, energy and dedication. In addition to the Kaula Gold Medal, he was honoured with the award of "Granthalaya Pitamaha" by the Maharajah of Baroda. The Government of India honoured him with the Padmashri award.[8]

He was secretary Andhra Pradesh Library Association and organised an All India Library Meeting on 12 November 1912 in Madras. This meeting lead to the forming of Indian Library Association.[9]


  1. ^ Kaula, P.N. "A Study of Public Library Development and Services for Rural Uplift". Granthana: Indian Journal of Library Sciences, Vol 8. Issues 1–2. 2001. pg 46.
  2. ^ Kaulaendowment awards medals scholarships[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Luminaries of 20th Century, Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad, 2005.
  4. ^ Satyanarayana, R. "Shri Iyynki Venkata Ramanayya and the Library Movement in India: A Personal Tribute”. Annals of Library Science and Documentation,Volume 19. 1972. pg 157.
  5. ^ Rao, Ramachandra P. “The Significance of the Library Movement in Andhra, 1900–1948”. Library Herald, Vol 20. Delhi Library Association. 1981. pg 152.
  6. ^ Singh, Sewa & Sukhbir Singh. "Library and Information Science Periodicals in India: a Study Towards Standardization". Herald of Library Science, Vol. 29 (July–October 1990): pg 202.
  7. ^ Satyanarayana, R. "Shri Iyynki Venkata Ramanayya and the Library Movement in India: A Personal Tribute”. Annals of Library Science and Documentation, Volume 19. 1972. pgs 157.
  8. ^ Prof Kaula Endowment for Library and Information Science, Silver Jubilee Report (1975–2000)
  9. ^ Library day