Adults accompanying them also enjoy the fare at exclusive section
While a large number of students, researchers, scholars and booklovers are campaigning, through various forums, to save the Anna Centenary Library at Kotturpuram here, readers way younger also seem to have compelling reasons to frequent the place.
From the “Tom and Jerry spot” by the window to “Amar Chitra Katha rack”, these regular visitors to the children's section of the library seem to know every nook and corner of the space dedicated exclusively to them.
“I read a book on a robot-dog today. It keeps saying ‘no problem' all the time,” chuckled Vasundhara Krishnamurthi, a class I student of Hari Shree Vidyalayam. While she usually comes with friends, she insisted that her parents also accompany her on Saturday.
As first-time visitors, her parents were impressed with the facility. “It has fantastic infrastructure. It is well-planned and well-appointed. They are still in the process of procuring more books. If they consult domain experts and get the best publications in every discipline, this will be a great place,” said Mr. Krishnamurthi.
The section on the first floor of the library building draws several hundred children during weekends. On Saturday morning, nearly 100 children had come as early as 10.30 a.m.
Popular cartoon characters adorn the walls, a huge artificial tree is at the centre and colourful furniture is spaced out. The section has nearly 1.5 lakh titles, a majority of them English. A few thousand Tamil books and titles in other languages are available. Comic books, story books, encyclopaedias and dictionaries are there in abundance.
For a group of students who came from Vidya Nivas School in Kotturpuram, a visit to the library every weekend is a regular affair. After reading books ranging from Spiderman and Pinocchio to Ghost Rider, they came out of the building visibly excited. With them was little Akshaya, a kindergarten student on her first visit. “I read a colourful ABCD book,” she said.
Membership forms for children were available until a few months ago. Over 1,000 children who applied are awaiting their membership cards. “They are probably being processed,” said a staff member at the enquiry.
“An attractive space like this with a good collection is bound to draw children and inculcate the reading habit in children,” said Sasikala Krishnan, who had come all the way from Villikvakkam with her sons Tanush Medapalli and Yadidya Medapalli.
Not just children, even adults accompanying them seemed to enjoy spending time at the section. A child's father was seen immersed in an animal book, even as his daughter seated beside was totally into a comic book.
The section is something R. Aarthi was planning to check out too. “Five of us from our family are here today. We want to explore each section and find out more about the place which seems quite fascinating,” the Mogappair resident said, beginning her tour of the library.
Keywords: Anna Centenary Library