Friday, February 19, 2010

Story of a Children's Library in Bangalore

Chintan Girish Modi writes about a library he visited on his trip to Bangalore.

Via Chintan's Chatter
Imagine having a little pond in your school library, where you can look at colourful fish swim by as you read your favourite book. A spiral staircase leading up to a tower from where you can see almost the entire school. Quiet corners that let you sit alone and undisturbed, lost to the world as you sit immersed in your own world of stories…

Does it sound like an unbelievable fantasy? You might be pleasantly surprised to know that such a library truly exists, in a school called Centre for Learning, on the outskirts of Bangalore. I visited them recently, and had the opportunity to meet Usha Aunty, an inspiring lady who loves books and children, and introducing children to the wonderful world of books. She has introduced simple and beautiful ways to involve children in their own learning space. Firstly, there is no librarian acting like a monitor, giving you a million instructions. You can simply pick up any book you like, and make a note in the computerised system placed in the library, without waiting for an adult to do it for you. This openness extends to many of the library activities.

Children are encouraged to ‘adopt’ books and care for them. The library has a small section called the Book Hospital where torn and damaged books are kept. These are stuck together and bound properly. If you have adopted a particular book, you make a new cover for it, and write a short description at the back of the book. You also get to interview a few students and teachers who have read the book, so that you can compile their comments to attract new readers. Apart from this, you can make book marks, write book ads, paint posters and display lists of favourite books — whatever that makes reading exciting and fun for you.

If you are wondering ‘All of this sounds great, but this might never work in my school library’, spend some time thinking of ideas that your teachers or librarian might be open to. When they see that you are genuinely interested, they will put aside their doubts, and join in your enthusiasm.
Read the entire article here and you can see more pictures here.

Image Source : cfllibrary

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