LIBRARIES store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up the windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better. – Sidney Sheldon, Author.
Bansa Community Library imbibes a feeling of empowerment, strength and awareness among the children and the adults through the books that have always been everyone’s friends. The library has always offered a sense of belongingness and inclusivity to all irrespective of gender, class or community.
Bansa Community Library provides the means to open doors of opportunity for young people. The main highlight of the library is its vast collection of books that would help young aspirants in preparing for different government examinations and getting onto the jobs they have dreamt of.
Bansa Community Library and Resource Centre is established under Bansa Educational Society to cultivate an interest in reading and provide quality books and reading materials to learners from Bansa and 36 surrounding villages. The library is situated near Ram Janki Mandir in Bansa village (District Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh). Since its opening in December 2020, the library has witnessed overwhelming support and participation from learners of all age groups. Apart from attracting readers, it has also become a space for e-learning where volunteers from across India have engaged educational sessions on a variety of subjects. Bansa Community Library imbibes a feeling of empowerment, strength and awareness among the children and the adults through the books that have always been everyone’s friends. The library has always offered a sense of belongingness and inclusivity to all irrespective of gender, class or community.
Our mission is to make quality and holistic education accessible to learners from rural India. Apart from being a library, we call ourselves an ‘education resource centre’, meaning: we aim to provide support resources required for learners of all ages to pursue an education of their choice. Currently, we are supporting the aspirants of competitive exams from the community with relevant reading materials and personal guidance.
IDEA BEHIND THIS INITIATIVE
The idea of starting Bansa Community Library comes from The Community Library Project. TCLP is a low-cost, citizen-led initiative, and they have 4 working libraries in Delhi and Gurgaon. They are continuously working on the library movement, and they work in the direction of building public libraries which are accessible to all.
Two of our team members were volunteers at The Community Library Project, where they learnt how public libraries should function and how we can ensure maximum participation from children. They have an open-source curriculum and they have developed different ways to help children who are initially slow at reading in building reading fluency.
IMPORTANCE OF FREE LIBRARIES
Reading helps to expand the mind and give us more ideas. Reading also develops the imagination and allows us to dream and think in ways. Allows for creative thinking. Not everyone has access to books and resources to educate themselves but everyone should.
To ensure that each citizen gets equal opportunity, each citizen must have equal access to resources, which can only be ensured by providing these resources for free. A large number of citizens do not have any access to books, and education, even though our Constitution talks about Equality and Right to Education.
Every child should have access to books and education, so that they can have dreams, imagination, and make their lives and position better in the future. Libraries bring people closer to books, to their dreams, and each other. That is why there should be more free libraries and free spaces, where people who do not have resources can learn. We often tend to take our ability to reason, a by-product of the resources that surround us, for granted. This tends to come as a surprise to us, for we fail to understand the huge difference that the paucity of quality resources can make in someone’s life, who is probably not as privileged as we are.