Karnataka takes leaf out of German book for kids

A new chapter

The Department of Public Libraries is taking measures to encourage reading habit among children.

Public libraries in the state will soon become child-friendly, with the Department of Public Libraries gearing up to provide dedicated space and materials to encourage children to read more as well as participate in writing and art activities.

The idea of creating ‘Maker Space’ was picked up by department officials during their recent visit to Germany.

The department now is in the process of identifying some libraries in Bengaluru to implement the project on a pilot basis.

Under ‘Maker Space’, a dedicated space will be provided for setting up facilities such as virtual reality studio, painting and art workshops.

S R Umashankar, Principal Secretary, Department of Primary and Secondary Education and Department of Public Libraries, said the visit to Germany was an eye-opener. “Maker Space is huge success in Germany, where we could see plenty of kids spending time at public libraries not only after school hours but also on holidays and weekends,” he said.

Umashankar said while libraries had a “separate section to keep children’s collection”, there was “no dedicated space” for them to sit and read.

“Implementing ‘Maker Space’ concept in our libraries will definitely attract more children and increase their interest towards reading,” Umashankar said.

Another department official pointed out at the fate of Indira Gandhi Children’s Library in Cubbon Park, which is hardly visited by children.

“Providing ‘Maker Space’ at such a place would definitely attract more kids,” he said.

Elders’ corner

Meanwhile, in the next phase, the department is thinking of providing a dedicated space for senior citizens.

“The plan is not to set up big coffee shops but small coffee outlets/vending machines attached to libraries, where senior citizens can sit and relax between their visit to public libraries,” explained Umashankar.

He also said the department had decided to switch to digital mode. “We have decided to upload digital content through which even a person sitting at a small town can access e-content,” he said.

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