Tamil Nadu Smiling | Tamil Nadu

‘Take a book, leave a book’ a hit in the Nilgiris

Library one-two have kept mini library opposite the collector office in Udhagamandalam, 14.09.2021. Photo: Sathyamoorthy M /THE HINDU.   | Photo Credit: M. Sathyamoorthy

An initiative to ensure access to reading materials through free-to-use library boxes is gaining patronage among residents of the Nilgiris.

As part of the ‘Library OneTwo’ initiative, boxes are placed at public spaces in Udhagamandalam and Coonoor, allowing the residents to exchange books for free. Started this January by Madhavan Pillai, Shobana Chandrashekar and Anita Nanjapa, from The Nilgiris Mountain Arts Initiative (TNMAI), it has witnessed a quick surge in interest among the residents across the two towns.

“The idea was planted a few years ago, when after a clean-up drive at RC Colony, we worked with the Hebron School in Udhagamandalam to place a library box at the local anganwadi. However, as the box was not in use, we moved it outside the art gallery, where people were encouraged to take and leave any book they wanted,” said Ms. Chandrashekar.

Good response

Ms. Chandrashekar said they were initially worried about people vandalising the boxes, but they have been pleasantly surprised by the response so far. “There has been a continuous movement of books from the boxes. What is really interesting is that we have no role in curating books that make it to the box, and we do not police their use,” said Mr. Pillai, the curator of Galley OneTwo in Udhagamandalam.

Each box can hold 20-25 books, and four boxes have been in use since the beginning of the year.

Ms. Chandrashekar said there was still hesitancy among those who were unsure of using the boxes. She hoped that more people would become comfortable taking and leaving books at the libraries.

Mr. Pillai said he hoped to have library boxes in each village panchayat in the district.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 9:12:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/take-a-book-leave-a-book-a-hit-in-the-nilgiris/article36527881.ece

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