Sayoni Basu shares a list of 7 libraries that are 'quietly bringing children back to reading'. Happy to spot so many familiar names - people we work with, #PBChamps and more...
There are some chain libraries that have been doing stellar work in bringing books to kids and adults, like the Eloor Libraries and Just Books. Alongside these, there also some small libraries that have been trying to bring to children that experience of wonder and joy of being surrounded by books – and of being able to find a new book to read.Reading Caterpillar, DelhiThe Reading Caterpillar started in 2009. Founder Rabani Garg had felt a lack of children’s reading spaces in Delhi and she met other parents, teachers and writers who talked about the need for such a space. “We started a small community of parents and would meet with our children and read to them. Reading Caterpillar was born out of a need for a library for young children. And a belief that it had to be an interactive space that would bring children, parents, book lovers and people who work in this field together. Authors, illustrators, parents, artists are all an integral part of Reading Caterpillar.”
“We like to call it a library, book haven and studio! We pretty much squeeze in all book-related activities. It is a book-lending library, a reading space – drop ins are welcome – a book club for different age groups, a book hospital, an artist space. We love book launches, workshops and readings with authors and artists.”
The Reading Room, which is the library arm of this venture, started in June 2015.My Little Chatterbox started in 2012 to help parents raise readers.
Falak Randerian, the founder, wanted to “build a space where kids can come and fall in love with books.” With physical bookstores disappearing and very few libraries, many kids do not have the experience of being physically surrounded by lots of books. “We wanted to do whatever little we could to bring that experience back.”
The book club, My Little Chatterbox, continues in this new avatar. There is also a book hospital, where members are invited to take care of books which need their help. “We are also looking at hosting author read-alouds and book launches.”
Read about the other libraries and the awesome work they are doing.