Discovering a place filled with tranquillity, where one can read without any distraction, is certainly the best feeling for a bibliophile. But drawing out time from our busy schedule is just one of the many hindrances in what a book lover will term as eternal gratification. Now imagine, you know a library which has a superb collection of books, but it is far from your reach and you do nothing but just admire the place in pictures or in conversations. So how would you feel if the library comes to you? Yes, we are talking about mobile libraries, or more correctly, the traveling libraries! Libraries that travel, sounds cool right? These traveling libraries serve many purposes from educating children who cannot afford books to proving as an opportunity for leisure. Read on to know about some such libraries:
Wisdom on Wheels
Comics are an integral part of almost every child’s life. Be it Chacha Chaudhary or the witty tales of Akbar and Birbal, comics did help us discover what’s right and what’s wrong in a fun way. But not everyone has access to these side books or comics since most of them cannot even afford textbooks. The organisation Child Fund India is working towards providing needy children every possible help through textbooks, solar lamps and also the mobile libraries. This is to make their literacy program reach more people. Their first library was powered by solar energy and went to Karnataka. Most of the backward areas here do not have libraries in school, so this is an opportunity for them to read books that are meant totally for fun.
Sister’s Library: The Feminist Library
Sister’s library is founded by the artist and activist Aqui Thami from Darjeeling. This is a feminist library in a true sense, for it focuses mainly on the books written by women writers. Aimed at providing a much needed private place for women readers, this mobile library will travel across six different cities - Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin, Pune, Goa, and Bangalore. It engages in an in-depth reflection on the visual and reading culture of our times. The project is supported by Inlakes Fine Art Award 2018. This library holds around a hundred books of women writers, zine makers, and artists. The library will travel to places and spaces owned by independent artists who are looking forward to encouraging words by women.
An old second-hand van converted into a bookshop on wheels, the Walking BookFairs is run by a Bhubaneswar based couple. They have around 4000 books in their library or bookstore as you say. They’ve travelled 10,000 km and been to 20 states. Walking BookFairs is an independent book shop in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. In an interview to 101India, the couple said, “We just hope to inspire and encourage more people everywhere to understand the importance of reading books and contribute to the society in a more meaningful way.”
The Travelling Library in Delhi
For over a year now, DPL’s five mobile library buses take books to a hundred fixed points in Delhi, every week. One of them is Yogender Sharma aged 56, who leaves for this at 2 pm and returns to the DPL headquarters at 8 pm.” It’s pure joy. At least a hundred people visit the library every time we go there. Children begin to line up in anticipation even before we reach and we have to ask them to move so we can park the bus. It’s a resettlement area — the children and even adults there do not have access to other sources of books.” he told Indian Express.