We are living in the age of information explosion. A school’s library is meant to be a collection of books and other materials kept for the purpose of reading, studying and consultation for students, teachers and other members of the school community. School libraries are considered knowledge dissemination centres. They are expected to have a well balanced collection of material for students belonging to different grades. That, along with the latest automation facilities will help promote reading among young minds.
Duties of a librarian
It is not enough for the school to appoint a professionally qualified librarian, but it must be ensured that the librarian be given enough freedom to impart the latest developments through various library services.
School librarians should encourage children to read more books not only in the library, but also outside. They must explain the real values of libraries by organizing book fairs, classroom libraries and home libraries, debates and quizzes. General awareness talks can also be organised by displaying various articles or websites. Career guidance can be given too.
Role of public libraries
Young children can be familiarised with the services provided by public libraries, college and university libraries and special media libraries in our country through library tours. Opening an account in public libraries through a borrower’s ticket or card is just like opening account in banks. So children should be motivated to join public libraries.
School children should be familiar with different types reading styles. They are:
1. Reflective reading – This includes reading poetry.
2. Receptive reading – This includes reading newspapers, magazines and reference books like encyclopaedia, dictionaries, year books etc.
3. Recreational reading – Story books or novels which will fire a child’s imagination come under this category.
Limit TV, internet
Nowadays children tend to waste a lot of time watching television or in front of computers. This limits their thinking and imagination. Occasionally, good television programmes and browsing the internet under adult guidance may be encouraged. However, they must be advised to spend less time on these activities and more time on printed material.
Our country needs more good leaders. Great leaders are good readers. Let us unite to impart quality education by cultivating the reading habit among children in schools.
G. Devanathan is Head Librarian of Senthil Public School, Salem, Tamil Nadu