‘Books at Doorstep’ a hit among schoolchildren in Ernakulam

Library council members take books to children’s homes to revive reading habit

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The project launched this month aimed at reaching out to 25,000 families spread across 500 libraries under the district library council. The idea was to lend one lakh books a month by giving four books to a child and cover at least 50 households in every library limits.

“We expected to lend 12 lakh books a year, but is now very likely to exceed that going by the great response to the project. In fact, some of the libraries have taken it with such zeal that they have already covered over a hundred households,” said M.R. Surendran, secretary, Ernakulam District Library Council.

The State Library Council is keeping a close watch on the progress of the project. “We will be collecting the figures in a fortnight and if found effective, the project will be adopted across the State,” said K.V. Kunjikrishnan, president, State Library Council.

Two triggers

The district council launched the project after the Education Department found that reading habit among students has taken a hit in the wake of remote learning. The Chief Minister’s exhortation asking libraries to reach out to young readers at their homes came as another trigger.

“The council also found that young children were increasingly getting alienated from words in the absence of constant support from teachers,” said D.R. Rajesh, secretary, library council, Kanayannur taluk.

Library authorities visit households with up to 50-100 books mostly during weekends. “We usually carry children’s literary titles and also lend academic books on demand. The enthusiasm is such that when we visit a house those from the neighbourhood also approach us demanding books,” said E.R. Santhosh, secretary, Yuvakalatharang library, Elamakkara.

Both English and Malayalam titles are made available.

Competitions

Two competitions have also been introduced to engage the young readers. Children up to class five are asked to write a page on the books they have read while those between class five and ten may submit a review of a book. The winners will be presented with small gifts.

SOURCE – THE HINDU

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