Opportunity to Manage a Children's Library in Bandra, Bombay

by ChandniP on Jul 10, 2011      Category: Tags: npsbm

Please mail Vibha at vibhakamat at gmail.com (and copy me) if you're interested in running the children's library in Bandra. It may or may not be a full-time job.

Excerpts from a recent TimeOut article by Mithila Phadke:

It took the dedication of her
sixyear- old nephew in California to fire Vibha Kamat’s imagination
halfway across the world. A few years ago, Kamat, a French teacher who
lives in Bandra, learnt that her nephew Neel had enrolled for a
programme at his neighbourhood public library, pledging to read 20 books
by the end of the summer.
“The programme turned him into a
reader,” said Kamat. It also set her thinking. “I then wondered how many
kids in our country had access to so many books and the joy of
reading,” she said. “How many neighbourhoods even had proper public
libraries for them?”
Kamat realised that even her
otherwise well-provided-for neighbourhood of Bandra doesn’t have a
public children’s library. So she mobilised some friends. She then found
that Maharashtra Mitra Mandal – a cultural charity next to Bandra
Gymkhana on D’Monte Park Road – was also looking to do a similar project
and joined forces with them. “We were lucky to find this room,
otherwise there was no way we’d have been able to afford the steep
rentals in the city,” said Kamat.
An architect friend designed shelves, while another friend bought the entire set of Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers series on eBay for the yet-to-be-set-up library. Budding artists were invited to cheer up the walls.
The library will have both fiction
and non-fiction, in English, Marathi and Hindi, though English titles
will dominate. There is also a collection of National Geographic magazines and a big dictionary. There will only be a very nominal fee charged.
Still, it will take more than
enthusiasm to sustain the project, cautions Santa Cruz resident Charles
de Souza. He helped set up two children’s libraries in his locality
since 2005. But the city’s real-estate pressure ensured both those
libraries shut down. De Souza, a trained librarian, strongly believes
that kids libraries could help transform the lives of children,
especially those who come from poorer backgrounds. His advice:
“Libraries can make use of puzzles, storytelling to attract kids’
interest and then slowly encourage them to read.”
That’s exactly what Kamat plans to
do when the library opens. If everything works out as decided, it should
be up and running in a couple of months. She hopes to invite writers to
talk to children and organise creativewriting workshops. The idea is
not to make reading seem a chore but something that is a source of pure
joy and fun.
That’s something Kamat’s nephew Neel
discovered by the end of his summer programme. He’s pledged to read 20
books but the time his vacation ended, he had read 162 books.
Getting kids to read like her nephew
takes three things, said Kamat: “To have a library, to have it locally
and then for it to be open to everybody.”

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Shuchi's picture

Dear Chandni,

I would really like to discuss more about this opportunity. I mailed Vibha and you regarding the same a few days ago, but haven't got a reply for the same.

Please let me know if this plan is still workable.


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