Shikshamitra has a library. It is situated beside the local community in Chetla. Children of age group 8 to 12 come here. There is open access to books and material for all children during the week. It is an open time for them to explore. On Saturdays is the library class where children work with librarians on structured programmes.
The library is a hall space with books on one half and children’s work station on the other. The space is designed in a way which enables room for varied activities. Books are shelved in movable bookshelves; the shelves are on wheels for flexible manipulation of its arrangement. Sometimes they are placed as dividers. Children look forward to the library because of its openness, colours, easy access to books and puzzles, to find their art works displayed around and plenty of warmth. There is also a range of diverse books, selected over time. They are mostly in Bengali and English, and some Hindi books too. They range from picture books, early reading to literary novels. For list of suggestive books check out Book Recommendations.
Our imagination of a library is synonymous to a learning space. It is not a conventional library. Although we believe that books are an integral part of it, we also feel that there are other pathways, through art, films etc. that lead to a holistic exposure, simultaneous to school education. What we primarily ensure is that children stay well. We have always tried to keep in mind the spirit of five laws propounded by Dr. S R Ranganathan –
- Libraries serve humanity
- Respect all forms by which knowledge is communicated
- Use technology intelligently to enhance service
- Protect free access to knowledge
- Honour the past and create the future