There are a lot of people out there creating and running libraries as I was to discover on a trip to Bangalore.
First stop was hippocampus, a nice place with nice people you don’t want to leave. Hippocampus not only partners schools in setting up better libraries; but also helps libraries like ours to organise their systems and understand how children can be really helped. They run training programs for librarians and provide a lot of material for the library to make it attractive and well run.
Crucial to the system is a grading method for books slotting them into green, red, orange, blue , white and yellow levels. Children systematically pass from one level to another and their rise is charted on a colourful chart on the wall.
The library at Koramangala run by hippocampus is a dream come true for any aspirant library.
The CRT children Library at Chagaletty ( pronounced just like chocolate) is one of a kind. It is run by children for children.
The library was initiated by the Children’s Rights Trust and is kept in a room in one of their houses. A committee of 6 children maintain and run the library. Trained in the concepts by hippocampus, the children maintain the registers, enter new books on arrival, monitor reading levels of children who come there, browbeat those who dont’, get visitors to write their comments and generally keep this community effort flying.
We used to watch TV ; now we read books’ , they say.
Their library has become famous through media and is now being replicated in many places. We hope to do it too.
Another community initiative is a budding library at TVH Apartments in Chennai which has been put together by enthusiastic reader-mothers.