Downtown

Two mothers start mobile library service for neighbourhood children

Meenakshi Ganapathy and Meenakshi Padmanaban deliver books outside a school in Mylapore 

Like clockwork, once in month, a group of 12 parents wait outside the gate at the P.S. Higher Secondary School, Mylapore, after picking up their wards. A car comes to a halt near them. Two women disembark and start distributing books to the waiting parents. They are the founders of Book Buddee, a neighbourhood mobile library.

The library is run by Meenakshi Ganapathy and Meenakshi Padmanaban, both home makers, who hit up on the idea of starting such a service after they became mothers.

“Whenever we wanted to get books for our kids, we never found the time to visit libraries. Buying books didn’t make sense as kids would grow out of them in no time. We explored a few online libraries. We were interested in the idea of getting books delivered and picked up from our house. Eventually we decided to start our own library,” says Meenakshi Ganapathy.

From the beginning, the duo were fastidious about the kind of books they supplied. They wanted the content to be acceptable and the language, impeccable.

“We wanted to give parents good imported books at low cost,” she adds. Seeking help from their contacts in the United Kingdom and the United States, they started sourcing these books at second hand rates. Two months ago, when the collection of books got substantial, they started the library.

“As my daughter studies at P.S. School, we started by giving out pamphlets to parents of wards studying in her class. They became our first members,” says Meenakshi.

They made P.S. School the delivery point. “It is easy to give the books at one single point after school hours. Parents are also comfortable with this arrangement,” she adds.

They charge a registration fee of Rs. 300 and three books can be taken at a time. Pop-up, touch and feel, hard-bound and board books are also available.

“Right now, we cater to children between 0 to 10 years. We send a list of age-appropriate books through WhatsApp and parents can select the books they want,” they add.

The duo also sells a few books on their face book page Book Buddee. Depending on the popularity of their library, they plan to do door-step delivery in the future. They can be reached at 9176616277/ 9884492991

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 3:45:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/two-mothers-from-mandaveli-start-mobile-library-service-for-neighbourhood-children/article7877482.ece

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