Books behind closed shelves and cupboards, beyond the reach of those who need them, don’t make a library. A library must be inviting, accessible and open to the needs of its users and it is this desire that led the author to successfully experiment with classroom libraries.
In our series of writings which share the work of library educators, the focus this time is on an educator’s journey in a small Tibetan school in Karnataka and how she managed to engage parents and the community to develop an interest in library practices and learning.
If a library is to become popular among its users, no matter how young, a bond has to form between the two. Facilitators of this school, on an island in Assam, involved their primary class students in setting-up the school library, formulating rules and deciding on activities for the library. In the process the young students ended up building an everlasting bond with their school library.
The role of a library educator is not merely to give access to books, but also to nurture children’s socio-emotional and cognitive growth. The article highlights the author’s experiences of how a library can address the emotional needs of all children, including those who are ‘at risk’ or/and are from marginalized communities.