The Community Library Project at Deepalaya has been serving more than 1400 members since 2015. The numbers (no matter how gratifying they look) aren't enough when we compare them with the number of citizens who have no access to a functioning library of their own. There is an urgency involved in building more libraries.
We, at the Community Library Project, believe that we cannot stand in isolation. When we stress about building a library movement across the city, we mean that we aspire to provide everyone access to a replicable model of community libraries. And so, we take great pride in announcing that we are taking this movement forward by expanding our project. We have joined hands with the wonderful Agrasar in Sikanderpur. Agrasar works towards human capacity development and social security of disadvantaged communities in India. Their centre, inside the Sikanderpur village, is going to house our newest library - The Community Library Project - Agrasar.
At present, the Community Library there is just a collection of donated books, a few bookshelves and the hope and sweat of our volunteers. While we are yet to start circulation, regular read-alouds are being conducted with over 80 children from Agrasar's learning center. The library is open to all in the community, with read-alouds happening at 3 in the afternoon. In only three weeks, the small reading room has turned into a drop-in place for over 100 children, who casually browse through books, hang out socially, and even do their holiday homework!
Some young adults from the neighborhood have also dropped in after word about the library spread. They are our first batch of volunteers, and we're training them to catalogue books. Many hands can hasten our formal opening date, when we'll start enrolling members and handing out books (things that we do best!). Do join us in this journey.
The hike might be uphill, but we promise that the view at the end of it will be breathtaking!