Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life.
– Sidney Sheldon
The pandemic almost lasted for one and a half years. During this time schools and colleges were shut across the globe for the entire duration. Not to kill the spirit of reading habit amongst Indus schoolchildren – ‘Library on Wheels’ was planned and launched to cater to students’ needs across the city. A Library on Wheels is a vehicle designed for use as a library. Many names have been given to this service through times immemorial, such as traveling library, library wagon, book wagon, book truck, and book auto service.
Due to the pandemic-related school closure, there was a concern about the students using the physical library, which was the most sought place in the school. At Indus International, Pune, we thought of introducing a ‘Library on Wheels‘– a mobile library.
Once this idea was approved, we started working on it. This was planned basically for the PYP students initially. The first step was converting a school bus (now not being used ) into a library. The seats were removed and replaced with bookshelves and display racks. The ambience of the bus looked like an actual physical library. The library staff stocked it with reading materials according to age groups, including all types of genres—Junior Fiction, Non-Fiction, Comics, Short stories, Collection of poems, Drama, etc. The PYP coordinator planned the visits and wrote emails to the parent body, and permissions were sought from different residential societies for this.
On the first day, the Library on Wheels visited two residential colonies where many Indus students lived. The library staff, including the librarian and the assistant, were on the bus. The circulation was carried out manually as the online Library software could not be connected. Puzzles and games were also placed to engage the students. The students were waiting anxiously for this and were thrilled to see the mobile library enter their society. Covid 19 protocols were taken care of. At a time only four students were permitted entry. The temperature check of all the students was done. For safety reasons, we did not allow access for the parents. Students were only allowed to borrow two books at a time. Every day we visited two colonies in the city and thus provided library service to the students. Parents and students were both equally excited and highly very appreciative of this initiative.
This is how we brought life to the library and motivated students of our school to enjoy reading even during the bad times.
Head Learning Resources
Indus International School, Pune