Why We Need Free Libraries

A room, no, a building full of books, in languages familiar and unfamiliar, telling stories that reflect our insides and reveal new worlds.

A building safe, warm and open to all.

Where we huddle over ideas, communing over shared ones, or debating them in thoughtful dialogue. Always pyaar se.

This building in every community across India. Maybe two, where none have existed before.

Where readers are found on every corner and in every home, even if some haven’t recognised themselves as such, yet.

Our journey begins when we imagine this not as a dream, but as a fundamental right.

This is how a jholaful of books and a reading group of 10, explodes into a library with a membership of 80, then 300, 500, 1500 and more.

This is how first-generation readers start with 10 books, then 40, then 80, then 100. How one library sprouts two, then four, becoming part of a network – a movement – of libraries across India.

How readers grow as thinkers, then leaders, librarians, trainers, story-tellers, writers, artists and intellectuals.

It’s a story that grows in power with every page turned and every new library opened.

Everyone should be a part of it. All should be welcome.

The Community Library Project
Ramditti J R Narang Deepalaya Learning Center
B-65, Panchsheel Vihar,
Delhi, India
Illustrations provided by Priya Kurien.
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