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PLANS TO OPEN ROADSIDE LIBRARY TO INCULCATE READING HABIT AMONG TIRUCHI RESIDENTS, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN

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After opening roadside gyms to help people keep physically fit, the Tiruchi Corporation is on course to open a roadside library to promote the habit of reading among residents especially children.

Residents would soon be able to read and share books from the free open library coming up on the roadside at Puthur, opposite Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital.

The library is modelled on the lines of Little Free Library, popular in the United States and other countries. Little Free Library is a non-profit organisation that “inspires love of reading, builds community and sparks creativity by fostering neighbourhood book exchanges around the world.” Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds, says its website.

One of the most successful ways to improve reading habit of children is to increase their access to books especially at home. But many families do not have the means to stock age-appropriate books for their children. Little Free Libraries play an essential role by providing round-the-clock access to books in areas where they are scarce, says the organisation.

Corporation Commissioner N. Ravichandran says the initiative is similar to the ‘Wall of Kindness,’ established by the civic body some months back in Puthur.

Residents are encouraged to leave things which are discarded or not used by them so that they can be used by people who need them. The Little Free Library will function on the principle – ‘take a book, share a book.’ People can spend time reading the books on the spot. The civic body plans to depute a person to man the library.

The corporation is investing about ₹20 lakh from its funds to create infrastructure for shelves and benches.

“We will initially provide some books and hope to see the facility grow as people start using it,” Mr. Ravichandran said.

If the idea proves a hit, more such libraries could come up in the city in future. The free roadside gyms opened at various places in the city have become popular among residents in recent months.

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