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School Library Project

Background

School libraries are at the heart of any education system. There is no doubt that school libraries can play a pivotal role in nurturing knowledge and improving the quality of education. Several education committees and commissions were set up in the past, but unfortunately school libraries were not given due importance. There are states in which school libraries simply don’t exist. This has somehow impeded the process making education available to all. We are yet to achieve the goal of UEE (Universalisation of Elementary Education), which is a constitutional obligation.

The massive governmental structure and educational programmes can achieve this goal if school libraries are given due importance. The dream of universal quality education can only be realised through creating enough reading opportunities in appropriate environments for the children. According to the National Curriculum Framework (2005) of the National Council of Educational Research and Training, India, ‘The school library should be conceptualized as an intellectual space where teachers, children and members of the community can expect to find the means to deepen their knowledge and imagination’.

The ability to read with comprehension and insight is indeed central to all education. Even though a considerable amount of research has been done on different aspects of reading, we do not really understand what kind of processes ensures the emergence of a critical reader in a child. We are, however, reasonably sure of one thing: that greater the degree of exposure to comprehensible, interesting and challenging reading material, the greater is the likelihood of children becoming critical readers. Making reading material available to the children is main objective of any school library. The impoverish libraries can’t cater the societal educational need. We need live, vibrant and growing libraries full of rich resources for readers. Given the higher expectations, school library development and improvement has to be addressed on a priority basis.

With the advent of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), we can expect new ways of realizing this vision. The role of the school library has now changed from mere information transfer to content generation. Libraries of today are vibrant media centres – in fact, academic hubs in which knowledge is synthesized, processed and finally disseminated. The changing needs of children - including CWSN (Children with Special Needs) - and the teaching community in the information-communication era have increased in multiplicity. The fast, precise and accurate dissemination of information using ICT can not only increase the accessibility but also address the need of CWSN

The networking of school libraries, public libraries, community libraries and people involved in setting up of children libraries will trigger library movement in India. This project aims to realise this vision and fill the gaps so that the goal of universal quality education is achieved.

Project  Objectives

  • Understanding the process of reading, in all its aspects
  • Relating children’s reading to library resources
  • Examination of the status of school libraries in India and the outside world
  • Drawing lessons from the success stories of library movements
  • Exploration of the role of school library in reinforcing inclusive education

Major Activities

  • Organising an International Conference ICSL-2008
  • Central Resource Group Formation
  • Website Designing and Maintenance
  • Networking with individuals and organisations who are working for the development and improvement of school libraries.
  • Children’s Library Framework (CLF) development
  • Capacity Building Programme (Orientation Workshop) based on CLF.