Self Reflection Checklist

Before volunteering, please read & reflect on the following:

1. Why do you want to work in a community library?

Do you love books, children or both? Are you looking for a community-empowerment project to pour your energies into? Do you believe that all people deserve free access to tools of knowledge and thinking?

Please think deeply about your motivations and whether they align with TCLP’s raison d’etre i.e. to bridge gaps in public access to books and other means of knowledge & thinking. TCLP is not driven to do charity. It is a community movement driven by collective thinking with a definite agenda of social justice and equality.

2. Can you make time?

Since TCLP caters mostly to children from ages four up and runs 7 days a week, it is imperative that you are realistic about how much time you can give. How many hours a week can you give? Does your job entail frequent travel or uncertain schedules? Can you manage your home, work and social life with volunteering?

TCLP has a flexible roster and can assign duties compatible to your individual timetables, however once you have committed to a day & time-slot, you would be expected to stick to it. We generally do not have slots for ‘drop-ins’.

3. Can you stick to a commitment?

If you commit to a role & time-slot and don’t show up, the whole program weakens (and in some cases, cannot be executed at all). If you think you might make frequent last-minute cancellations or not be able to be punctual, you might want to reconsider volunteering.

4. Do you like and are you comfortable with children?

Patience, kindness and discipline are the cornerstone of all our interactions with children who come to the library. It is not essential that you have children to understand these values. However, if you feel any resistance or discomfort, TCLP can assign duties accordingly (e.g.: in fundraising, data-entry & digitisation and media outreach etc.)

5. Can you partner with or take direction from people, from different backgrounds?

TCLP welcomes all, regardless of class, caste, religion, sexual orientation or race; not just as readers but as fellow-volunteers, core-team & students council members, staff personnel etc. It is a democratic institution, where we all learn to work in teams and collaborate. Are you willing to undergo a period of training? Are you ready to learn from and take instructions from people from backgrounds different from your own? Are you willing to perform tasks like cleaning, sweeping, dusting etc.? Are you willing to head out into the community, meet local residents and forge relationships with our members on a regular basis?

6. Can you work in environments that might be physically uncomfortable?

TCLP libraries are extremely well-equipped with books & other learning materials and with safe & comfortable reading spaces and general areas for workshops, assemblies and other activities. However, they are subject to the vagaries of weather – hot & humid in summer, cold in winter – that are generally met with, by turning on fans or opening & shutting windows. Is your general fitness up to the mark?

The Community Library Project
Dharam Bhavan, C-13 Housing Society
South Extension Part -1
New Delhi - 110049
Donations to The Community Library Project are exempt from tax under section 80G of the Income Tax Act. Tax exemption is only valid in India.
Illustrations provided by Priya Kuriyan.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
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