Our organisational model is based on democratic ideas that promote leadership potential in everyone, including young readers, so that leadership and responsibility is shared.
The Leadership Council of TCLP is composed of the Trustees, Steering Committee members, a staff representative, and a member of the Student Council.
Bhawna represents the librarians and staff of TCLP as their elected member to the Leadership Council. She is the Co-Director at TCLP., and has keen interest in Dalit and Feminist literature.
Prachi Grover is the Co-Director at TCLP. She holds an MPhil degree in Education. She is a keen researcher and is interested in studying how children respond to literature and learn to read and engage with reading. She loves reading aloud stories and teaching.
Mridula Koshy is a Trustee of TCLP. She is proud to be a part of TCLP, where she uses her organizing skills to bring people together to create and to agitate for more libraries in India. She is also the writer of Bicycle Dreaming (Speaking Tiger), Not Only the Things That Have Happened (Harper Collins India) and If It Is Sweet (Tranquebar Press).
Arti Malik is a Trustee. She started volunteering with TCLP because of her love for books, libraries and children. She believes everyone should have access to books and free libraries.
Shubha Bahl joined TCLP as a Trustee after volunteering in the library for three years. She believes that for an equal, respectful and a thinking society, reading is essential and hence libraries and books should be freely accessible to all.
Shaoli Dutta Haldar did her M.B.B.S from N.R.S College, Kolkata followed by residency and stints as Medical Officer in various hospitals of Kolkata and New Delhi. Joining the library in early 2015, Shaoli very quickly got involved heart and soul into the project, and is now a Trustee with TCLP . Her love of books and her habit of reading to her son got extended to embrace her new family at her library. Her favorite activities are circulation and doing book reports, where she gets a chance to interact with members individually. She also shares the responsibility for TCLP's financial functioning. The library is her refuge.
Ritika Puri is a Steering Committee member and manages the finances and fundraising aspects of TCLP. She was the Program Coordinator of TCLP - Sikanderpur branch till Jan 2019. She is a Computer Science graduate from Delhi University. Her interests include storytelling, arts and craft, and asking children their favourite food.
Michael Creighton is a Curriculum Coordinator at TCLP, and Steering Committee member at TCLP - Khirki. He holds a Master's degree in Education and has taught special and general education for more than 20 years in India and the US.
Purnima Rao is a Steering Committee member at TCLP and started with TCLP in 2015 as a volunteer and library activist. She is part of The Free Libraries Network's Core Group, oversees Social Media outreach for TCLP and works in the field of documentary films.
Nishant Gupta is a Steering Committee member at TCLP - Khirki and used to be a Headstart Program volunteer till Jan 2019. A software engineer by profession, he started volunteering with TCLP in 2015. He likes reading to children and drinking tea.
Ranjana Dave is a dancer and writer based in New Delhi. She teaches at Ambedkar University, Delhi and is Programmes Director at Gati Dance Forum, an organization working in the field of contemporary dance. She began volunteering with TCLP in 2017 and is a Steering Committee member at TCLP - Khirki.
Shashank Samant started volunteering with TCLP in 2017. He is a freelance journalist, content editor, and a Steering Committee member at TCLP - Sikanderpur. He loves exploring ideas and emotions through stories and the Book Report Clinic.
Bimbabati Sen is a publishing and e-learning professional who started volunteering with TCLP in 2015. She worked with the Headstart to Reading programme till 2020 and, as a current member of the Leadership Committee, helps out wherever the library needs her. She has a Master's degree in English literature from Jadavpur University. Her interests include drinking coffee, reading whodunits, and helping TCLP achieve its goal of a national library movement.
Jessica J Paul is a Steering Committee member at TCLP South Extension-Kotla. She began volunteering with TCLP in January 2020 and helps plan the annual Free Library Festival. She works in K-12 educational publishing and remains committed to TCLP’s belief in a universal Right to Read, the idea that "Reading is Thinking", and the free library movement.
Mausam Kumari started with the Student Council in 2019 and is now a TCLP librarian and member representative in the Leadership Council. She brings members’ perspectives and their vote to the meetings on policy decision and functioning of TCLP. The third year BA student loves reading, helping members, and developing programs for TCLP with fellow member leaders and volunteers.
Shivam aka Kranti Ke started his journey with TCLP as a member in 2015 before becoming a Student Council member, Intern Leader and now a volunteer. During his internship where he was also a part of the Finance committee, he was chosen as Member Representative to the Leadership Council. He loves Urdu, writes and performs rap in Hindi, and believes that equal space for everyone is a must and equality is their right.
At each of our libraries, select library members are appointed to the Student Council, a leadership body. Library members are selected based on their commitment to working lovingly with others, their commitment to creating access to books for all, and their potential and actual leadership skills.
Members of the Student Council first join as trainees for a three-month period. Parents are included in the process of deciding if a member is a right fit for the Student Council. Members commit to work four hours a week. In actual fact, most work in excess of these hours. The Student Council is responsible for the Circulation Program, for doing read alouds, for creating and implementing programs with the help of librarians and volunteers.
“Andolan ki help se hum un sabhi ko books provide kar payenge jo pehle kabhi library bhi nahi gaye honge. Isse hamari community ko bhi develop hone mein help milegi aur shayad logon mein khud ke liye awaaz uthane ka confidence bhi aa jayega.” – Priya, Student Council Member
"Kyunki kai bachche hote hai jinhe padhna acha lagta hai, jinmein kafi saare bachche kitaabein kharid nahi sakte. Isliye library ka hona bahut zaroori hai. Fir ho sakta hai yahi bachche ache se padhe aur desh ko aage jakar aage badhae." – Preeti, Student Council Member
"Student council banne ke baad maine ye sikha ki library, reading, studying kisi se bhi ghabrane ki zarurat nahi hai. Pehle mujhe gussa bhi bahut aata tha par maine yaha par ma’am se baat karna shuru kiya, to woh bahut kam hua. Mein ab apni baatein rakhne mein ghabrati nahi hu. Ab main gussa bhi nahi karti, balki hamesha muskurati hu." – Kajal, Student Council Member
"Student council bankar sachmuch mujhe laga ki mujhe koi bhi zimmedari dee jaye, main usse ache se sambhal sakta hu. Kyunki usse pehle mujhe koi bhi zimmedari dee jati thi to mein usse bhagta tha. Student council bankar maine jana ki kaise kitaabein thik jagah par rakhtein hai, aur kaise bachcho ko pyar se shaant kiya jata hai, library kaise sambhali jati hai, aur agar koi bachcha galti kare to kaise usse ek dost ki tarah salah dete hai." – Mohaimin Alam, Student Council Member
TCLP’s Librarians play an important role, not just in running the library but in leading it from the front. They help our community learn what we are doing at the library and how we do it. They enable members of our community so that one day they can run the library themselves and take it forward.
The librarian knows everything about her collection and catalogs; how to manage it, how to select new books and bring them into the library etc. But she has a role and responsibilities beyond this. She must know how to attract and welcome the community into the library and how to engage with members. Since we are free libraries, situated in localities where most members are first generation readers, it’s sometimes challenging to communicate what we do, why we are inviting them and their children to the library, and why reading for pleasure and thinking is as important as school education. Our librarian plays an important role in doing this work along with TCLP’s Student Council. This includes walking door-to-door and speaking to local residents about the library and its various programs.
Librarians are role models in the library for the Student Council and all our members. They are examples of how to lead the library movement, embody our mission and vision into praxis, guide and train our future librarians and leaders, pyaar se.