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Why is an in-person library experience important for children?

Shakti

As November descended on all of us, bringing with it sweater weather and rain, all we wanted was to curl into a corner with a good book and hot chocolate. But it was also a month of exciting new beginnings at the Champaca Children's Library. We launched our new library plans, hoping to have an enduring connection with all of you and for your children to have with books.  


And if you had walked into our little store on the last Sunday of November you would have been welcomed by giggles, gasps, and a googly-eyed bunch of children listening to Nayanika, our new in-house storyteller. Nayanika enthralled her audience with her narration of The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers. At the end of storytime, little ones swarmed around the book, running their hands across the pages, smelling and devouring the pictures. Wouldn't you agree that the love for reading begins with a good story?

In case you missed this session, no worries. Storytelling will happen regularly, on the first Sunday of every month, and we hope to see you for the next one!

Do I have to come to Champaca Library all the time? Can’t I just dunzo the books?

At Champaca we are often requested to send books from the library. Parents have hectic work schedules, children have classes at the weekends and Bangalore traffic is a dampener. But, allow us to tell you why we think the in-person sensory experience of browsing through a library is important!

Children love autonomy – When presented with the choice of many books and the freedom to browse without adult supervision, we have noticed that children enjoy the process of picking and choosing what they like. 

Libraries are about community – Libraries are not just about books, they also foster a spirit of community. It's a space where one can lounge around, have a quiet time, read and return home without feeling the pressure to buy. It's also a great place to meet more children and like-minded people.

Libraries instill a sense of responsibility in children –  Children learn to understand the concept of borrowing as opposed to buying. They learn to take care of books that don't belong to them and return them within time. 

We love buying books, but we can't buy them all – Some children like ghosts, some hate princesses and nothing less than a dinosaur excites another. Libraries have books of all types, with something for everyone. Our library has books that are not available in India or are out of print. We also have poetry, picture books, and others about science, history, and nature. 

Bangalore may not have the most drivable roads but it certainly has the best weather to take a walk. Did you know that the Cubbon Park metro is just a 10-minute walk from Champaca? :) 

Once Upon a Time.. A slice from History

Issac Asimov’s parents emigrated from Soviet Russia to America in 1923 when he was a small child. He had to work in the family-owned candy store in New York. Isaac couldn't go to school and since his family couldn't afford books, his ‘real education’ as he called it took place in a public library to which he escaped whenever he had any time. Asimov grew to be a scientist and one of the most celebrated science fiction writers in the world. Asimov said 

"A library isn't just a library, it's a spaceship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher who knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you and most of all a gateway to a better, happier and more useful life."

 


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