Community Libraries are established by GMRVF in select villages to inculcate reading habit and provide opportunity for lifelong learning. These small libraries reach out to children, youth and adults, encouraging them to develop reading habit. As the young and the aged come together at the libraries it provides an opportunity to create awareness on various issues prevailing in the communities. Currently, Foundation runs about 70 libraries across various locations. In consultation with each community, Foundation has identified and supplied a list of books with wide-ranging appeal to the children, youth, aged, and women. A system has been devised for proper circulation of books among the communities. On an average, 20 -30 people access each library every day.
Mobile Community Libraries at Ramdurg*
- Community libraries have been successful in encouraging reading habit in the youth, children and adult community members.
- There is increased community participation as well. Many community members come forward to donate books and magazines for the library.
- The libraries are slowly becoming centers for strengthening people’s participation in the community development.
- Foundation tries to improve and sustain the reading habit in people by conducting reading competitions and celebrating important days like Book Day etc.
It is a bright evening in Hannumsagra, a small interior hamlet in the Ramdurg Taluk of Karnataka. A group of children, women and senior citizens is waiting patiently for the weekly exchange of books. In a short while, the mobile library on a bicycle would arrive and the atmosphere will be charged with excitement. The Librarian would patiently attend to every one… giving books, reading the news aloud and conducting a few games for the children. After an hour or so, the mobile library would move through the muddy country road to Ujjinkoppa, another hamlet lying 2 km. away from Hannumsagra. These remote villages have little access to newspapers and magazines. The community has come up with the idea of mobile library as an answer to this problem. The mechanism is simple: A volunteer uses a cycle to carry different kinds of books to the designated locations. And at those locations all people congregate and regularly exchange books of their choice.
Four mobile libraries carrying boxes of books set off every day to various hamlets of GMRVF’s project villages in Haliyal and Ramdurg in Karnataka, where people have never visited a library. The Librarians narrate stories, organize games for children, read out religious books, cut important news and read them out on every Saturday. GMRVF records show that in a short span of two years, there has been a 45% increase in the readership in these areas. Seeing this reading revolution, people from the nearby villages have also started asking for books and periodicals. Raju, one of the mobile library volunteers, is differently abled and uses his tricycle to carry books to various locations. The success of mobile libraries can be measured by the number of queries they raise and the continued interest of the communities. Community members from these villages say ‘it is simply a wonderful service’