14 October, 2017

Tata Trusts and Bookworm Trust conclude a first-of-its-kind library educator’s course in Goa

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

Panaji: The ‘Parag’ initiative of Tata Trusts and Goa-based Bookworm Trust today announced the successful conclusion of a first-of-its-kind Library Educator’s Course (LEC) for professional development of library practitioners. The event was presided over by Mr. Govind Gawde, Hon. Minister for Art and Culture, Government of Goa, and in the presence of other dignitaries.

A professional development course, the LEC has been developed by Tata Trusts, and is being offered in English by Bookworm Trust in Goa. 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. For its inaugural batch, the course enrolled 34 participants from public libraries, private schools, independent practitioners, and non-profit organisations as well.

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

Speaking at the event, Shri. Govind Gawde, Hon’ble Minister for Art and Culture, Government of Goa, said, “Goa has a good cultural identity and I congratulate the Parag Initiative of Tata Trusts and the Bookworm team for giving Goa an opportunity to open up the minds of people. Reading always gives us that avenue. In the modern world, it is essential that children read books and have well-formed minds. Librarians play a vital role to modify our thinking, our lives.”

Ms. Amrita Patwardhan, Head – Education and Sports, Tata Trusts, said, “The Parag initiative of Tata Trusts, focuses on promoting reading among children. Vibrant libraries, require professionally trained educators who understand importance of engaging children with a good collection, and have vision and skills to activate library for diverse learners. Since no such courses of children’s librarians exist, Parag’s Library Educator’s Course is an attempt to fill this sector gap. We could not have found a better partner than Bookworm to offer the course with, given their deeply committed work in running vibrant libraries in schools and communities.”

Ms. Sujata Noronha, Director, Bookworm Trust, said, “The Library Educator’s Course has been running for 7 months, under the Parag initiative of Tata Trusts, and we are proud to be producing a cadre of 34 proficient and trained educators as part of our first batch who, we hope, will put in the knowledge they gained from this course to encourage, engage and enlighten children with positive library experiences. We would like to thank Tata Trusts for their support and believing in us for making this course a success in Goa.”

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.

Parag is an initiative of Tata Trusts aims to spread the joys of reading and make reading a part of every childhood by supporting the development, dissemination and use of children’s literature in Indian languages. The Parag Initiative was launched in 2006-06, recognizing the need for the development of regional children literature and to support the access to this literature to promote reading. Over the past decade, Parag has supported the development of 420 new original stories for children across the age group of 5-16 years. These stories have been published across 9 languages including Hindi, English, Urdu, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and Oriya. We have also published in non-mainstream languages such as Mundari, Bhilori, Pawri and Santhali, languages in which children find it impossible to get books. Parag supported books have been read by over 20 million readers in schools, community libraries and homes. Books are available in multiple formats including ePubs, audio, Braille, tactile and animated eBooks.

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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About Bookworm Trust
Bookworm Trust has working to spread the joy of reading and also to enhance critical literacy skills amongst children in Goa for over a decade. Bookworm central library, that won Best Library award by government of Goa in 2016, has one of the largest collection and best Indian and international children’s books. Bookworm also runs Libraries in School Programme in government and aided schools, Mobile Outreach Programme that runs library sessions in marginalized communities reaching over 3300 children. Bookworm also runs professional development courses and workshops to build capacity of educators and conducts research on library and literacy.

For more information, please visit http://www.bookwormgoa.in/

Rajshree Mehta
Tata Trusts
Email: rmehta@tatatrusts.org

Nikita Crasta
Email: Nikita.Crasta@edelman.com
Mobile: +91 9821071527