The Jaffna Public Library won the first place for the Best Public Libraries in Sri Lanka at the Swarna Purawara ceremony recently. The ceremony was organised by the Local Government and Provincial Councils Ministry with the University of Kelaniya Library and Information Science Department.
The Jaffna Public Library functions under the Jaffna Municipal Council.
The library was built in 1933 and burnt in 1981. During the early 1980s, it was one of the biggest libraries in Asia, containing over 97,000 books and manuscripts. It was burned down by miscreants during the District Development Council elections in 1982.
In 2001, rehabilitation of the library was completed with new structures and new books even though old books and manuscripts could not be replaced.