Top Public Libraries in Karachi

Picture showing book shelves in a library

Public Libraries in Karachi are a source of knowledge for the locals and they are keeping the trend of reading alive in the city.

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Whether you are an avid reader or are just looking for a quiet space to study or work, there are plenty of libraries in Karachi that can serve as your sanctuary. They have exhaustive collections of books of all genres, plus most of them only charge the visitors a minimal fee. has compiled a comprehensive guide about membership charges, timings, and other details of some of the best public libraries in Karachi that you can check out.


List of Public Libraries in Karachi

From libraries with old-world charm to more modern book dens, Karachi has a number of libraries that have been serving people for decades. There are several community libraries as well.

The following is a list of the top public libraries in Karachi:

  • Allama Iqbal Library
  • British Council Library
  • Defence Central Library 
  • Frere Hall Library
  • Ghalib Library
  • Hasrat Mohani Library
  • Liaquat Memorial Library
  • Molana Mohammad Ali Johar Library
  • Street Library
  • Taimuria Library


Allama Iqbal Library

This is a government-funded library and is located in Jamshed Quarters. Allama Iqbal Library provides a peaceful space for readers, writers, students and researchers. It displays thousands of books on different topics.

  • Address: Jamshed Quarters Amil Colony
  • Timings: 9 AM to 4 PM
  • Membership Fee: Free


British Council Library


Picture showing Defence Central Library from outside


British Council Karachi is located opposite Park Lane Road, near the British High Commission. The place is heavily guarded by police and is the safest place in Karachi.

A membership, however, is required to use the library. It conveniently offers a virtual tour to anyone who wants to become a member. To book the tour, you can request the library administration by email.

The library houses thousands of books on a variety of subjects. There are iPads and computers available inside to facilitate researchers and students. Access to a digital library also makes it easier for them to search for a particular book, research paper, or any other document.

The library frequently hosts book launches and other literary events, which members can attend for free. It offers three kinds of memberships: individual, family, or digital.

  • Address: British Deputy High Commission, Shahrah-e-Iran, Block 5, Clifton
  • Timings: 9 AM to 8 PM 
  • Membership Fee (Annual)

Rs. 6,000 for individuals

Rs. 15,000 for families 

Rs. 3,500 for digital membership


Defence Central Library

This library is open to the public and charges Rs. 1,000 per month for membership. It is open on all days of the week, except for Fridays.

The library is well-maintained and has a collection of past issues of daily newspapers, an updated book inventory, a speedy internet connection, and a state-of-the-art digital library.

Address: Sunset Boulevard Road, Phase 2 Ext, Defence Housing Authority

Timings: 9 AM to 10 PM

Membership Fee: Rs. 1,000 (per month)


Frere Hall Library


Picture showing Frere Hall


Established as a tribute to Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere in the 1860s, Frere Hall previously served as Karachi’s Town Hall.

However, after the British left the sub-continent, Frere Hall was converted into a public library and opened to the public. Today, the library houses thousands of books and is commonly known as “Liaqat Library” among the locals.

The library holds books related to Urdu and English literature, science, politics, history, arts, culture, economics etc.

  • Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM (Monday to Friday)
  • Address: Fatima Jinnah Road, Saddar Civil Lines, Frere Hall
  • Contact Number: 021-99204325
  • Membership Fee: Free


Ghalib Library

This library was built in honour of the great Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib. Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Mirza Zafar-ul-Hassan founded Idara-e-Yadgar-e-Ghalib when the nation celebrated Ghalib’s centenary in 1968. Later, it was converted into Ghalib Library.

Some of the most prominent Urdu scholars and writers have given lectures here. To this day, the library holds great appeal for Urdu literature enthusiasts.

It houses 30,000 books as well as a rare collection of letters of historical importance. The library consists of 2 floors, with one specifically for students, researchers, and readers. The 2nd floor has a big hall that is reserved specifically for lectures and events.

  • Address: Block 2 Nazimabad
  • Timings: 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Membership Fee: Free


Hasrat Mohani Memorial Hall & Library

Hasrat Mohani was a prominent Urdu poet and freedom fighter, who played a big role during the Pakistan Movement. He collected hundreds of books; however, these had to be sold when he went to jail.

To pay tribute to Maulana Hasrat Mohani after his death, his family built a library in his memory. The library was opened to the public and currently has more than 10,000 books.

The library also has a memorial hall on the 2nd floor, which is used for meetings and lectures.

  • Address: Hasrat Mohani Memorial Library & Hall Trust, ST-9/C Block A, North Nazimabad
  • Timings: 5 PM to 9 PM
  • Membership Fee: Free


Liaquat Memorial Library

Founded in 1950, Liaquat Memorial Library is a public library that was built in honour of Liaquat Ali Khan, the then-prime minister of Pakistan. Today, it has a huge repository of books and research papers.

For CSS students, the library offers a separate section that has relevant material and notes.

  • Address: Stadium Road, Dawood CHS
  • Timings: 9 AM to 9 PM 
  • Membership Fee: Free 


Molana Mohammad Ali Johar Library

A small library located in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, this has thousands of books of different genres and subjects. It has air-conditioned rooms that are usually filled with students, researchers, and avid readers.

A section of this library also features old newspapers.

  • Address: Block 17 Gulshan-e-Iqbal
  • Timings: 9 AM to 7 PM
  • Membership Fee: Free


Street Library | Public Libraries in Karachi


Picture showing Street Library Karachi


To promote the habit of reading among the youth, a new concept of street libraries was recently introduced in Karachi. A first-of-its-kind library, it was established at the Commissioner’s Corner at Metropole near Quaid-e-Azam House.

The library has more than 600 books on different subjects. Chairs and tables are placed on the pavement for book lovers to sit and read.

This walk-in library is open 24/7, and a guard is present at the site to protect the place and facilitate the readers. Readers can borrow a book, and also exchange it for one of their own.

  • Address: 242 Fatima Jinnah Rd, Civil Lines
  • Timings: Open 24 hours
  • Membership Fee: Free


Taimuria Library

Probably the most famous library in Karachi, Taimuria Library dates back to the period of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Khuwaja Nazimuddin. It was established in his name to pay tribute to his services. Taimuria Library is located at the corner of Sher Shah Suri and Shahra-e-Jahangir.

It is quite popular among students and researchers. A separate section of the library features old newspapers from the 1980s.

Kunwar Mukhtar Ahmad Law Section features some of the most important law books, which is ideal for law students. Moreover, the library also has a separate section for women.

  • Address: Shahrah-e-Sher Shah Suri, Block L, North Nazimabad
  • Timings: 9 AM to 9 PM (closed on Saturdays and Sundays)
  • Membership Fee: Free 


Public libraries in Karachi make for some of the lesser-known yet visit-worthy attractions in Karachi. Not only are they a great source of knowledge, but they also keep the culture of society alive with their literature and historical collections. 

For more related information, visit the Graana blog.

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