A survey of library facilities in schools of the rural areas of Islamabad Capital Territories (ICT) has shown that most schools have no libraries for their students of primary classes, from Prep., to 5th. Grade. The principals and teachers of these schools have expressed keen interest in having library services for their young students. The Bright Star Mobile Library fulfills this need and brings library services at the doorstep of these schools and provides their students with access to books. Thus, it reaches those children who would never have had access to libraries or the kinds of books provided by the BSML
A typical day of the BSML starts with the arrival of its vehicle at the participating school at the start of school day. The vehicle carries two BSML staff members. One staff-member manages the vehicle and its books and the second conducts library periods. The timetables for grades Prep to 5th clearly state the timings of the library periods for each class. At the commencement of a library period, the class teachers of the class for that period bring the students to the library room. During the library period, the BSML staff carry out animated storey telling sessions for younger children of Prep to Grade 3 and conduct guided book reading sessions for students of Grades 4 and 5 to promote their interest in reading. The BSML gets class teachers actively involved in library periods for their classes to make them aware of the interest and changes being brought about in the young minds of their students by the library.
Interesting books that capture their imagination are the ones that are able to cultivate and develop reading habits among the young. The BSML chooses fascinating books on diverse subjects to help develop children’s knowledge well beyond the limited scope of school text books. As children learn about the world around them and its people with diverse cultures and beliefs, they develop a tolerant attitude which promotes harmony and peace.
The BSML uses its library periods to convey simple and useful social messages. These include the value of cleaning their hands before handling books, not to litter, form queues etc.
The BSML commenced its operations in May, 2011 and listed below are the summarized comments received on its service:
- Children are much more attentive in library periods
- There has been marked improvement in the vocabulary, confidence and grades of their students
- There is festive atmosphere in schools on the day of library visit
- There is less absenteeism on the day of BSML visit
- Teachers who used to consider “library period” as unnecessary luxury now recognize it as a very useful and integral part of learning process for their young students
- Students follow the soft social messages they receive from BSML and there has been marked improvement in their behaviour.
FROM YOUNG STUDENTS
- We love the stories and books that we get from Bright Star
- We anxiously wait for the library period and we really enjoy it;
- Our children are really excited with the library and relate to us the stories they hear or read during library period
- Children are exceptionally excited to go to their school on library day.