For all those interested in reading books but have very little access to books and have to walk several kilometres to access a library, ‘mobile libraries’ are an easy way out.
With this in mind, Abhimana Development Foundation, Matale, has rolled out a mobile library truck and a media centre in the Monaragala district.
In an ambitious drive to promote early literacy and a reading culture amongst rural children in the Monaragala district, a mobile library will travel into remote village areas to reach such children and to give them a chance to access new books and expand their knowledge.
The project, launched by Abhimana Community Development Association and funded by ChildFund Sri Lanka, aims to improve the competitiveness of children both in-school and out-of-school, while establishing a friendly environment to access reading, writing, and media facilities, and plans are also afoot to extend the project to the Mullaitivu district shortly. Stocked with hundreds of titles on various topics, these mobile trucks cater to numerous book lovers. The mobile libraries are stocked with a wide collection of well-chosen, age-appropriate and context relevant books, mainly targeting school children.
The books and reading materials include children’s story books, novels, translations and books in a variety of categories such as social sciences, languages, pure and applied sciences, literature, religion and history, teaching, learning and educational materials and many more. There will be books in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages.
Child Fund National Director, Katherine Manik said, “I am very happy that we are able to support this initiative with our partner Abhimana Community Development Association. It’s a great way to take books to rural neighbourhoods and classrooms, and a wonderful way to encourage children to read”.
The mobile library trucks will be stationed in a school during school time in selected divisions. During this time, children will have a chance to read books and they will be provided facilities such as desks and chairs to read. The truck will visit one school twice a month. Reading activities, storytelling and reading sessions with children will be conducted in the school premises.
The mobile library truck will also be stationed at community centres (especially at child resource centres) daily for duration of three to four hours in the evening, to engage children in reading activities according to their reading level. This is expected to foster healthy use of community recreational spaces. The children are encouraged to take the books home and return them during subsequent visits of the mobile library, just the way a library functions. However, one child can only take one book at a time.
At the child resource centre, learning programs will be conducted in the evenings. There will be a set of learning videos, children’s movies, songs, and other resources including internet during that time. Multi-media facilities will be used to conduct awareness sessions to communities on the importance of education, the ability to read and write, and also