The ‘Parag’ initiative of Tata Trusts and Goa-based Bookworm Trust recently announced the successful conclusion of a first-of-its-kind Library Educator’s Course (LEC) for professional development of library practitioners. The event was presided over by Minister for Art and Culture Govind Gawde.
A professional development course, the LEC has been developed by Tata Trusts, and is being offered in English by Bookworm Trust in Goa. Designed for librarians, teachers and other practitioners, the initiative focuses on setting up children’s libraries. LEC has been designed to help practitioners to imagine a library as an open and creative space for all children. For its inaugural batch, the course enrolled 34 participants from public libraries, private schools, independent practitioners, and non-profit organisations as well.
The 7-month long course is conducted in dual mode that includes contact sessions and distance-learning. Speaking at the event, Govind said: “Goa has a good cultural identity and this is an opportunity to open up the minds of people. Reading always gives us that avenue. In the modern world, it is essential that children read books and have well-formed minds. Librarians play a vital role to modify our thinking, our lives.”
Head-Education and Sports, Tata Trusts, Amrita Patwardhan said: “The initiative focuses on promoting reading among children. Vibrant libraries require trained educators who understand the importance of engaging children with a good collection, and have vision and skills to activate library for diverse learners. Since no such courses of children’s librarians exist, Parag’s Library Educator’s Course is an attempt to fill this sector gap.”
Explaining why they felt need to have this course in India, Amrita says: “If we look at the larger context of reading and whether children have access to books or not and what does it take to get children interested in reading so there we sort of collectively felt the need of this course.” She adds that through this course they want to create people who feel excited and empowered to basically bring reading alive to children of diverse backgrounds and therefore it’s needed in private schools and schools to community spaces and public libraries.
Director, Bookworm Trust Sujata Noronha said: “We are proud to be producing a cadre of 34 proficient and trained educators as part of our first batch who, we hope, will put in the knowledge they gained from this course to encourage, engage and enlighten children with positive library experiences.”
The fee for the English and Hindi course is `30,000 and `25,000 respectively. Sujata said that they are willing to offer financial support to deserving candidates.