Published: 27th March 2019
Why every kid must visit the Children's Library in Cubbon Park this summer
Its summer holidays for school children and they might find it boring to stay indoors or watch the same television shows. Then, you must head to the Bengaluru's Indira Priyadarshini Children's Library
Located in the heart of the city, Cubbon Park in Bengaluru is not just famous for its 100-year-old trees or lush greenery — it also houses the 25-year-old Indira Priyadarshini Children's Library. The Department of Public Libraries, Government of Karnataka renovated this library just a few days ago so that more children can visit the place during the summer holidays. It is not just the walls that are painted in bright colours — everything in the place screams vibrancy, colourful chairs, custom lightings, new flooring, bean bags, tables, a podium to stand and read at, photos of famous personalities in India and information about veteran librarian Dr S R Ranganathan. All this is available for children aged between 4 and 14.
Total Budget: The library has been renovated at a total cost of Rs 6 lakhs
According to Satishkumar S Hosamani, Director, Department of Public Libraries, the library was last painted in 2008. He says, "The library building is over 60 years old and it was given by the Horticulture Department to the Department of Public Libraries in 1994. It was necessary and important for us to renovate the building. Hence, this year we spent Rs 6 lakh to revamp it. We hope that more children will visit the library and make the best use of it." At present, the library has over 5,000 books in English and Kannada. Aside from books, they also have some toys using which children can learn as they play. While there are fewer children in the library on school days, the number of footfalls increases during weekends and summer holidays.
What they have: Indira Priyadarshini Children's Library receives children's books like Wisdom, Champak, Balamanagala and Balamitra
In order to inculcate the reading habit among children, the library allows them to borrow books and read them at home, for as little as Rs 100. Parents need to fill a membership form and pay the deposit money and their kids can borrow three books for a period of 15 days and return them. "While we have started this facility recently, over 50 children have already become members. From the next academic year, we plan to help children by providing information and necessary materials for their school projects," he says.
Read and play: What they have: Children has various books to read and some funky toys to play with
Apart from this, the Department of Public Libraries is collaborating with an NGO called Headstreams to start educative programmes for children, including the widely popular CLAP, which was earlier known as Arivu-Disha. Vineetha C, Programme Co-ordinator, Headstreams, says, "Learning while playing is the mantra behind this programme. We ran this programme in 30 government schools in Bengaluru, Hoskote and Kolar. Often, the library room remains unused in government schools. We decided to make use of this space and provide experiential learning to the school children. Therefore, we introduced different games to teach them lessons and develop skills. Now, we have changed the programme's name to CLAP (Children's Library and Activity Programme)."
Sessions time: The Department of Public Libraries plans to conduct sessions for children on the Importance of the reading habit and library science
The whole project is pretty high-tech and gives kids insights into how to use tech, "We provide android tablets that will consist of some videos to teach skills to children. These videos will also be related to the books that the library has. For instance, if the child has read a book related to pottery, then he or she can check for a downloaded video on pottery or sculpting. The programme also consists of games that will help children in memory building, constructing puzzles and much more," she adds.