"We are not able to share all our resources with children now because they do not come in large numbers to the centre in Cubbon Park," said K.G. Venkatesh, Director of the Department of Libraries

Worried about the decline in the number of visitors to Indira Gandhi Children’s Library at Cubbon Park, the Department of Libraries is contemplating tying up with Bal Bhavan in its activities in the city and in the districts to reach out to more children.

Speaking at a workshop on children’s literature organised by Bal Bhavan Society here on Monday, K.G. Venkatesh, Director of the Department of Libraries, said that Bal Bhavan district centres could tie up with department-run libraries in their districts for programmes.

“We are not able to share all our resources with children now because they do not come in large numbers to the centre in Cubbon Park,” he said, emphasising the need to reach out through branches.

Chandrashekhar Kambar, Jnanpith Award-winning Kannada writer who presided over the function, said the art story telling opens the “eye within”, while visual media like the television blind the potential of a child’s imagination. He suggested that schools should have one hour dedicated to storytelling by children, so that their imagination grows in the process of narrating and listening to stories.

Free imagination

“When someone tells the story of a princess, every child listening to the story has a different picture of the princess shaping up inside his or her head. The visual image like in the television, in contrast, fixes the image and kills the child’s imagination,” he said.

He advised children — about 90 of whom from different schools had taken part in the workshop — to watch less television and spend more time reading and watching traditional art forms like Yakshagana.