Bommashettihalli situated in Yadgir district, had restructured the libraries at the school level and at the community level. Like many schools in the area, the local school infrastructure was very poor. The students of Grade I toV were made to sit in one room. There was no library setup in the school and books were not fully utilized by the teachers and students. The teachers were of the opinion that the students might mishandle the books and damage it.
As part of ‘Sanjeevani’ – Reader’s Club, Kalike staff regularly visited the school to understand the problem and found that the teachers were more into safe guarding of the library books and were not encouraging children to borrow or read them. Post this observation, the Kalike staff regularly visited the school and encouraged teachers to hand out books to children on weekly basis. In addition, our animators also motivated children to read more books and helped in forming a children library committee. In collaboration with NBT, Pratham & other publishers, Kalike has organized book fairs and made books under various topics and subjects available for students and people of different age groups. Further, the library training program helped the teachers and animators in setting up the library, book keeping, creating reading environment for the children, and conducting regular library sessions in school.
With the regular library sessions in schools, the children were motivated and started to collect books of different genres such as freedom fighters, story, folk songs, general knowledge, etc. The biggest recognition to this program came when 8 students from Grade 7, GHPS Bommashettihalli, set up a library/study room at their homes. Many students are unable to do this due to space constraints. The students also share their learning’s with parents and discuss on issues.
Shivakumar, a student from Grade 7, has started his mini home library with a collection of 40 books ranging from biopics of freedom fighters to story books to general knowledge books. When asked ‘Which is your favorite book?’ he quickly replied ‘General Knowledge, as I get to know and learn new things from one book’. The teacher also mentioned that his parents have been encouraging and have added more books to his mini library. Also he has secured 1st rank in State Level Olympiad Exam.
Another student Shivaraj from Grade 7, who was not fond of reading, has been able to cultivate the habit through the ‘Reader’s Club’. Seeing his classmates setting up a library at their home, he also collected books from book fairs and set up his own home library. He aspires to be teacher and when asked ‘Why do you want to be a Teacher?’ He responded that ‘for any profession you have to be taught by a teacher and without a teacher no profession gets better. Hence I would like to become a Teacher’.
Mr. Chandramappa, Head Teacher says that “It has enlightened me that earlier I was more conservative in handing over the books for to children. But now I have realized that we cannot stop anyone from acquiring knowledge....”
According to Mr. Shekh Ali, Teacher Library in charge “Every school should have a Library; it is an important setup in a school just like our organs. If one organ in our body gets disturbed it affects the system. Similarly if a library is nonfunctional in the school, it does not create an enabling and enriching environment for learning. ”