Building a vision for school libraries in India - this program demonstrates the establishment of these school libraries is contributing to student learning and building a reading culture in schools...
"In 2006, Akshara started setting up libraries in government primary schools across the city after studies conducted by it showed that most children in these schools were reading much below their age-appropriate levels.The organization approached the education department, which gave it the go-ahead to create the libraries.
"We couldn't have done it without the cooperation of the schools, though. They gave us the space to operate a library out of their premises, they ensured the cooperation of their teachers and they created a library period each week for all classes," says Ashok Kamath, chairman, Akshara Foundation.
The libraries were created to function in a hub-and-spoke fashion: each physical library served not just the students in the school in which it was housed, it would also serve other schools in the neighbourhood. "Our librarians - each hub library has one and some of the larger ones have two - take books from the library and travel to the 'spoke' schools, where they conduct a library period for the students in those schools," explains Arvind Venkatadri, head of Akshara's library programme.
After creating the programme and running it for five years, today Akshara is ready to gradually hand it over, along with the infrastructure and assets created around it, to the state education department and individual schools."