Readers write Chennai

Community library ‘bookmarks’ initiatives for later recall and development

The Central Park South decides against taking children’s book-reading programmes online

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought our lively and actively running “Hooked On Books” library to a complete standstill. We had several interesting activities — reading programmes, book-based scavenger hunt, library bingo, storytimes by different age groups, just to name a few —planned for a fun summer, which are all now paused.

We did consider the idea of virtual storytime sessions. However, we decided not to go ahead with it because since the beginning of the lockdown, several platforms have come up with free storytelling sessions and made them readily available for children. The Hooked On Books team focusses on bringing children closer to books by organising activities with a personal touch. We felt virtual story sessions will detract from the complete storytelling experience, where the in-person element is a huge contributor.

Anyways, with all kinds of activities being on a virtual platform now, children already have way too much screen-time and we did not want to burden them with more.

Podcasts shared

However, I do make it a point to share e-Books, audiobooks, and links to podcasts with the community. Podcasts and audiobooks foster good listening skills, creativity, focus, and lets their imagination come alive.

Last month, our community celebrated World Storytelling Day by sending out audio stories by getting residents to record their favourite book. This initiative was wonderful because children could enjoy stories narrated by the people they know. We hope to come up with similar ideas. We are also presenting a newsletter that showcases the library activities and portrays the talents of children and grown-ups in the community.

This time a “Hooked on Books” member, Lauxley Pandian, volunteered to work on the newsletter. We request for literary contributions (articles, poems and book reviews) for the newsletter and publish it every quarter.

‘Quarantimes’ newsletter

The newsletter team is planning for a "Quarantimes" newsletter for the next quarter. We hope to reflect the talents of our community in our newsletter. The library is planning to work towards bringing kids out of the “virtual world” and help them focus more on literary activities that involve reading/writing activities on actual paper.

The “Hooked on Books” team is now working on ideas to keep the library open and come up with library programmes to cater to residents in a manner that aligns with the new normal.

(Supriya Santhanam is a resident of The Central Park South, Sholinganallur, and a key volunteer at the community’s library “Hooked On Books”)

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 3:37:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/community-library-bookmarks-initiatives-for-later-recall-and-development/article31662877.ece

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