The Social Science Baha Library is located at Ramchandra Marga, Battisputali (branching off the Battisputali main road towards Ram Mandir, across the road from Hotel Dwarika’s).
The library is open only to members. Membership can be obtained by filling out an application form. Part of the application form has to be filled out by someone who can vouch for the applicant. The voucher can be the head of the concerned university department, college principal, office head, or anyone in a similar capacity.
A nominal annual fee is charged. The rates are different for student, ordinary, and institutional members, but these are modest and affordable. A one-time membership fee will be charged as well as an annual library fee. These fees will be modest for individual members, while institutions will be asked to pay slightly higher rates. Provisions have also been made for short-term temporary membership. The Library rules provide full details of the fee structure and the different kinds of membership.
The Library is solely a reading and reference collection. It does not operate on a lending basis. There is a well-lit, comfortable reading room, and access to the shelves is through the attending librarians. The reading room is equipped with computers to provide users with access to in-house and online resources.
The Library’s collection has been built up through purchases as well as substantial donation from a number of individuals and institutions. The more significant donors among institutions are Himal Association; Columbia University; Tozzer Library of Harvard University; Alliance Francaise, Kathmandu; and the Nepal country office of the World Bank. The list of individuals and institutions who had donated books to the library can be accessed here.
The Library continues to solicit and receive books as donations from within Nepal and abroad besides continuing with new purchases. All funds generated by the library through membership fees, photocopy charges, etc, as well as cash donations are set aside for the purchase of new books.
The Library has also made provisions for a system of ‘permanent loans’, whereby supportive individuals lend their collections to the Library on a permanent basis, on the understanding that the books would revert back to the owner should the Library ever cease to exist. Under this system, the most notable donation the Library has received is the entire legal collection of the late Sambhu Prasad Gyawali, former attorney general and law and justice minister of Nepal, and a long-term loan from George Varughese, a member of the Baha.
Library hours: 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.