Book Nooks for Kids in Bangalore
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Libraries are not places with shelves full of dusty books only. Loads of play space, art material, movies and acting sessions, you get all this and more at children’s libraries in Bangalore. We visited three to find out why going to library is more fun than watching TV.
I-Cue, JPNagar, Phase II
Books apart: At I-Cue a child can paint and do craftwork in the art room or just learn more in the computer room. “The idea is to create a space that doesn’t seem like a boring library. Once the kids get familiar with the space, they stroll over to the book shelves and leaf through the books on their own,” says Simha. Children can also join the book club where they can exchange notes on the books they’ve read with their peers.
Hippocampus was started by Umesh and Vimala Malhotra who missed a place in the city where their five-year-old son could could learn, play, read and interact with other children. “We spent a year in the US and when we came back we didn’t understand why Bangalore didn’t have a decent public library,” says Malhotra. So they started Hippocampus six years ago with the aim of making reading fun. Hippocampus has a large collection of books that children can borrow and they can also participate in various club activities. Hippocampus also helps people set up neighbourhood libraries and works with 70 government schools to set up libraries and encourage reading habits.
Booky Bob, JP Nagar
“Kids initially come in grudgingly, thinking it’s going to be boring like their school libraries but soon they pester their parents to bring them here,” says Ghazala Anjum, activity coordinator at Booky Bob. The interactive library houses at least 5,000 books and is open after school hours (4pm) and 7pm and on weekends. Memberships to Booky Bob are of two kinds—the Whiz package includes a graded reading programme (where two qualified teachers work with children on improving their language skills) and the Ace programme which includes weekend activities.
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