Our organisational model is based on democratic ideas that promote leadership potential of everyone, including young readers, so that leadership and responsibility is shared. Our team consists of a board of trustees, along with steering committee members, staff, and student council from each library.
While the trustees and steering committee members form the Leadership Council, the Student Council represents the interests of the library membership through representation on the Leadership Council, and participate in the decision making process. Each team member plays multiple roles as they bring their own skills, talent, personality and judgment to the table.
Mridula Koshy is the founding trustee and director 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).
Ritika Puri is a trustee and was the programme coordinator of the TCLP - Agrasar 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.
Arti Malik is a trustee and manages the finances and fundraising aspects of TCLP. She started volunteering with the community library at TCLP because of her love for books, libraries and children. She believes everyone should have access to books and free libraries.
Shubha Bahl joined The Community Library Project 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. Shubha is the Director of TCLP’s branch at Sikandarpur.
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 early 2015, Shaoli very quickly got involved heart and soul into the project. Her love of books and her habit of reading to her son got extended to embrace her new family at her library. Shaoli loves doing circulation, where she gets a chance to interact with children, talk about the book they read or are looking forward to reading.
Michael Creighton is the curriculum coordinator at the TCLP. He holds a master's degree in education and has taught special and general education for 20 years in India and the US.
Purnima Rao has been with the TCLP since 2015 as a volunteer & library activist. She works in the field of documentary films and oversees Social Media outreach for TCLP.
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, their willingness to be accountable to the membership and leadership of the library 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. Once on 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 staff and volunteers.
The Student Council is not a pool of free labour for running the library. They are leaders and advocates in the library movement, which envisions a public library system which is free and open to all.
“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 bache hote hai jinhe padna acha lagta hai, jinmein kafi saare bachche kitaabein kharid nahi sakte. Isliye library ka hona bahut zaroori hai. Fir ho sakta hai yahi bache ache se pade aur desh ko age jakar aage badai.
– Preeti, Student Council Member on the importance of libraries
Student council banne ke baad meine ye sikha ki library, reading, studying kisi se bhi khabrane ki zarurat nahi hai. Pehle mujhe gussa bhi bahut aata that par maine yaha par ma’am se baat karna shuru kiya to wo bahut kam hua. Mein ab gharati bhi nahi hu apni baatein rakhne mein. Ab main gussa bhi nahi karti balki hamesha muskurati hu.
– Kajal, Student Council Member on what she has learned as a member
Student council bankar sachmuch mujhe laga ki mein koi bhi zimmedari dee jaye to ache se sambhal sakta hu. Kyunki usse pehle mujhe koi bhi zimmedari dee jati thi to mein usse bhagta tha. Student council bankar mene jana ki kaise kitaabein thik jagah par rakhtein hai, aur kaise bachcho ko pyar se shant kiya jata hai, library kaise sambhali jati hai, aur agar koi bachca galti kare to kaise usse ek dost ki tarah salah dete hai.
– Mohaimin Alam, on his personal growth after being part of the council
TCLP’s Library Staff plays an important role, not just in running the library from day to day, but in leading the library 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 & catalogues; how to manage it, how to select new books & bring them into the library etc. But she has a role & responsibilities beyond this. She must know how to attract & 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 learners, it’s sometimes challenging to communicate what we do, why we are inviting them & their children to the library and why reading for pleasure & 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, guiding & training our future librarians & leaders, pyaar se.