To strengthen primary education in the agency area and provide an opportunity to the tribal boys and girls to access the world of children literature, the Integrated Tribal Development Agency has introduced ‘Hanging Libraries’ in all the primary and upper primary schools in the agency area in East Godavari district.
Students of more than 300 schools now have access to the library units and are able to pick the book of their choice from the lot.
In response to the Read India campaign and with support from the Bengaluru-based non-profit organisation Pratham Books, the Rampachodavaram ITDA has launched the novel project and is now planning to expand it by appointing librarians to the schools in a phased manner.
“The idea is to give access to the tribal children to books that are not part of their curriculum. When we are searching for children’s literature in Telugu, we have come across Pratham Books which is publishing books for children in several Indian languages including Telugu,” says Nishant Kumar, Project Officer of the ITDA.
The officials opted for the hanging library as there is no need to invest on racks and shelves. A library consists of a cloth or plastic sheet containing several pockets. The sheet is hung on to a wall in a classroom or hostel and the pockets are filled with books from where children can pick the title of their choice during their leisure.
“We have procured multiple copies of about 100 titles and distributed them to all the schools. Since the books contain eye-catching drawings and photographs in support of the content, children are keen on browsing the titles. Once they get habituated to reading, we will procure new titles and appoint junior librarians to the schools,” explains Mr. Kumar.