November 24, 2017

Tata Trusts conclude a unique library educator’s course in Bhopal

Library Educator’s Course to help librarians and practitioners to imagine the library as an open and vibrant space for children

Book Talk on "Udd Chali"
Bhopal: The ‘Parag’ initiative of Tata Trusts today announced the successful conclusion of a unique Library Educator’s Course (LEC) for professional development of library practitioners. The course enrolled participants from eight states including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Delhi, and Gujarat.

A professional development course, the LEC has been developed by Tata Trusts, and is being offered in Hindi in Bhopal. Designed for librarians, teachers and other practitioners, the initiative focuses on setting up and running vibrant children’s libraries. LEC has been designed to help practitioners to imagine a library as an open and creative space for all children. In its third edition, the course enrolled 30 participants from NGOs working in rural tribal, urban poor areas working on improving quality of school education with library components to enhance reading in children and school librarians.

Conducted in dual mode that includes contact sessions and distance-learning, the 7-month long course equips participants to:

  • Understand the critical role of libraries in education and build children’s life-long relationship with books
  • Develop and communicate a professional vision for one’s library work, situating it within their educational endeavours
  • Identify and engage with good quality literature for children
  • Curate a library collection for schools and programme sites with attention to responses from users
  • Bring literature alive for children by conducting meaningful activities around books
  • Respond to children’s specific contexts and varying interests
  • Set up and run vibrant children’s libraries in schools and community spaces
  • Develop implementation plans and offer on-site support to staff engaged in library work
  • Develop strategies for collaborating with parents and community to ensure sustained library use
  • Design informed and effective program monitoring systems for library work
  • Network with a community of Library Educators across the country

Ms. Amrita Patwardhan, Head – Education and Sports, Tata Trusts, said, “The Parag initiative of Tata Trusts, focuses on promoting reading among children. Libraries are places where children get to engage with a good collection of books. Vibrant libraries require professionally trained educators who understand the importance of engaging children with a good collection, and have vision and skills to activate library for diverse learners. Through this course, we aim to address this sector gap and are proud to be producing a cadre of 29 proficient and trained educators as part of this batch.”

Ms. Ajaa Sharma, Faculty & Lead – Libraries & Capacity Building, Parag Initiative, Tata Trusts, said, “Bhopal is known for its rich cultural heritage and is a hub of artists in India. Therefore, we started the course in Bhopal a year ago. To enrich a child with socio-cultural experiences, it is essential that the library educators, and teachers, build context and create a connection with reading and books. We hope that through this course, have been able to produce a cadre of high quality library educators who will contribute to the holistic development of children at a young age and are able to provide these positive library experiences to them.”

For large percentage of first generation learners, school libraries can be the best source to access children’s literature. However, 74% of schools did not have functional libraries (Valuenotes, 2013). Education research also emphasizes the importance of children engaging with reading beyond textbooks and course-related material to diversify their range of reading material and broaden their horizons.

About Parag Initiative:
Parag is the flagship programme of the Tata Trusts that aims to make literature a part of every childhood by supporting availability and access to quality children’s books. The initiative supports the development and dissemination of children’s books and literature in Indian languages. It works with partners to rejuvenate libraries for supporting literacy and learning through children’s meaningful engagement with books. Towards this aim of creating life-long interest in reading and learning among children, Parag offers capacity building courses and modules that enable librarians, teachers and library educators to imagine the library as an innovative and creative space that is open and active.

About Tata Trusts:
Celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, Tata Trusts is amongst India’s oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations that work in several areas of community development. Since its inception, Tata Trusts has played a pioneering role in transforming traditional ideas of philanthropy to make impactful sustainable change in the lives of the communities served. Through direct implementation, co-partnership strategies and grant making, the Trusts support and drive innovation in the areas of education; healthcare and nutrition; rural livelihoods; natural resources management; enhancing civil society and governance and media, arts, crafts and culture. Tata Trusts continue to be guided by the principles of its Founder, Jamsetji Tata and through his vision of proactive philanthropy; the Trusts catalyse societal development while ensuring that initiatives and interventions have a contemporary relevance to the nation.

For more information, please visit http://tatatrusts.org/

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Contact:
Rajshree Mehta
Tata Trusts
Email: rmehta@tatatrusts.org