Kids Love This Librarian Plus Yoga Instructor And The Reason Behind It Is...
In a world where TV has 800 plus channels, endless list of virtual games, wide world of Internet and massive increase in sporting culture, there is hardly any room left for reading books. The only time a child gets to read a book is school library. But even in school libraries, a child often encounters a strict, no-nonsense and shushing librarian, which further makes child think of reading as a task and not a source of fun and relaxation.
To save the dying habit of reading, the teachers and parents need to portray it not as a duty but a fun activity. For this every librarian and a parent should take a cue from a Coimbatore based librarian named, S Lakshmanasamy. He is currently working as a third-grade librarian in the Vagarayampalaym branch library near Karumathampatti.
While talking to Edexlive he opens up on his love for books and reading and why librarian was the right career choice for him.
I had wanted to become a teacher. I always had a knack for reading books and suggesting them to other people so that I could share the information I gather. Then I started visiting our local library regularly and realized that I could read more and impart even more knowledge if I worked as a librarian.
He has been working as a librarian since 1997 and with time the love for his job has only grew stronger. Currently, along with Vagarayampalyam branch library he also works as a village librarian in Unjapalayam and Rayarpalayam and as a part-time librarian in Kaniyur. In 21 years of service he has become a favorite of the locals and children and he believes it is because he has successfully broken the stereotypical image of a Librarian as a strict and no-nonsense faculty.
You will notice that in every library, the librarian is considered to be a person who is strict, who asks you to speak softly or not speak at all while you are in the middle of a reading session at a library. I wanted to make people comfortable when they came to a library especially the children. So, I began to act like a child around these kids and started to interact with them and play sometimes when they came into the library. Gradually, they started coming in groups, reading more and more books that I suggested to them.
He started with a wish to increase the number of readers and make reading a popular activity among children. So far he has been successful in his pursuit. He has enrolled 5,629 members, 182 patrons in the libraries. Since April 2018, he has also started an initiative to enroll two students from government schools per day in Somanur, Karumathampatti to the library he runs.
To make libraries a popular hangout among school students, Lakshmanasamy keeps organizing activities like essay writing competitions on various topics to make students come regularly to the libraries. He also collected about Rs 2 lakhs donation from people in order to furnish libraries. This man of many talents also helps in teaching yoga to library members and school students.
Because of his tireless work, on November 14th he received the Dr S R Ranganathan Best Librarian award from Minister for School Education KA Sengottaiyan in Chennai. This award is given out by the Directorate of Public Libraries functioning under the School Education Department, in memoriam of the ‘Father of Library Science in India’ - S R Ranganathan (1892-1972) - who identified the real need of libraries and library science education in our country.
As Neil Gaiman once said, "I see libraries and librarians as a frontline soldiers in the war against illiteracy and lack of imagination." Lakshmanasamy is no less than a soldier and we should do everything in our capacity to help these crusaders get our country rid of illiteracy and promote reading among children.
Picture Source: Edexlive and SlowMotion Projects
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