K. Gunaratana Memorial Library
To become a Buddhist Public Library
update the Dhamma collection and Services.
|The Library was named in memory of the Late Venerable Bhikkhu K.
Gunaratara Thera, who was the Chief Monk of the Mahindarama Buddhist
Temple from 1933 - 1964. He was also the Chief High Priest of Malaya and
Singapore ( 1955 - 1964). Since his historical arrival in Penang on July
26, 1962, he had made a tremendous effort to pave the way for the growth
of Buddhism in Penang and the whole country in general, then known as
Malaya. It was due to his effort that Wesak Day had become a National
The Gunaratana Memorial Library was established on August 1976 when the Chief Monk of Mahindarama Buddhist Temple, the late Ven. Sri S.V. Pandit Pemaratana Nayaka Maha Thero officially handed over the temple library to the Sunday School Management Committee. A sub-committee was then formed to manage the library with Mr. See Chin Han and the late Mr. Wee Chong Hoe as its Honorable Patrons, while the late Mr. Lim Eng Chuan and Mr. Yew Lye Hin acted as its honorable Advisors.
In the beginning, there was only a small cupboard consisting of about 200 books at the corner of the Lecture Hall. It was during these early days that some generous donors came forward to contribute valuable dhamma books to add to this newborn library's collection. Among them is our Hon. Patron himself, Mr. See, who unceasingly supports the progress of the library till this day and truly merits the title as the "great benefactor" of the Gunaratana Memorial Library.
In 1979, the library that was then shifted to the left wing of the monk's quarters, was renovated with the donation from the Estate of the Late Madam Cheah Kim Hoe. New furniture and a ceiling fan were installed.
In the early Eighties, a collection of dhamma talks by Buddhist monks and laities on audio cassette tapes, was added to the library catalogue. As the library expanded, various projects were carried out by the Sunday School to set up a Fund for the upkeep and improvement of the library. Subsequently, additional cupboards and shelves were bought to accommodate the ever growing library's collections.
It was sometime in 1990 the computerization of the library book system
began. Those responsible for the new implementation are divided into
As years passed, the activities of the Sunday School increased. The Library also played an important and bigger role in the propagation of the Buddha-dhamma, through reading materials and audio records play back. It becomes necessary now to find more space for the future expansion of the library. In 1990, through the great efforts from both the Temple and Sunday School management committees, funds were collected to construct a new 3 stories building known as Wisma Mahinda.
In 1990, with the completion of the Wisma Mahinda, the library occupied part of the ground and mezzanine floor of the Wisma. The library was designed with a beautiful modern interior decoration idea by Bro. Hor Tuck Loon. On February 24th 1991, the Wisma Mahinda was officially opened by the late Ven P. Pemaratana Nayaka Maha Thero. Among the VIP guests was the Chief Minister of Penang, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, who then pledge RM 10,000 from the State Government to the Gunaratana Memorial Library.
In the year 2000, the K. Gunaratana Memorial Library has become independent from the Sunday School and report directly to the Main Temple Committee with the objective to further upgrade the service and status of the Library.
The List of the Honorable Librarians
a. General Book Section
b. Reference Book Section
c. Magazine Section
d. Light Reading Section
e. Audio-Visual Section
f. The New Arrival Display Section
g. Children's Section
Library Hours :