Village Libraries

A Village Library is basically a steel trunk that has story books, reading cards, puzzles, indoor games and so on. This is managed by an adult or an older child from the village. The library is set up once or twice in a week in a room or veranda of a house that has been decided by the village. The person managing it – the village librarian – has undergone a simple training on how to manage the sessions. Some of the libraries have been working on weekly basis while others will depend on the time available to the librarian.

Assessing the programme so far it is seen that all the libraries are not working with the same level of efficiency and so close for weeks together. Secondly, the librarians are to all sufficiently equipped and motivated to conduct these sessions. In a number of the villages a proper place, even a veranda is sometimes not available and this poses a problem to conduct the sessions. The Trainings have also not always been effective enough, often because of irregularity of the trainees. Mobile libraries are where children are brought to a particular place, either the Area centre or a village or a local school, on weekends for a full day session.

Mobile libraries are conducted for a six month period in villages which have the potential to begin libraries and where they need motivation for their studies. Two or three such villages are identified and a place to conduct the session is also identified. Then around 25 to 30 children are brought to the session each weekend and spend a full day. In some cases the children who have to be brought to a centre have to be paid their travel. Food has to be provided for all. In a year 50 to 60 children from 6 to 8 villages will attend such library sessions. At the end of the six month period (may extend depending upon need) negotiations begin with the village leaders about setting up a library in the villages. This has been a very effective way to initiate libraries.