"A library is not just a collection of books; it is a living entity. It has an aura that the internet cannot provide," said Father Leo D'Souza, former principal, rector, and professor of applied biology at St Aloysius College, who virtually inaugurated a new children's library, TLC Library at the CFAL/ELC campus at Bejai. Also, present to inaugurate the space was Dr. Smitha Hegde, a well-known expert in ferns of the Western Ghats and professor at Nitte University, and Dr. Michael Lobo, genealogist, and author.
The library is intended to be a beacon of learning, imagination, and creativity for children with a collection of around 10,000 books for different age groups and is equipped with enhanced technological features. The books at the library have been collected over the decade have been specially curated by educators, teachers, and children’s literature experts. This includes Indian and international titles, fiction, and non-fiction, and covers a wide range of themes – from friendship and feelings to wildlife, literature, art, and science.
Besides books, TLC Library also offers live and interactive Storytelling, Reading and Comprehension, Calligraphy, Art and Creative sessions for children under its flagship ‘Science Lit’ program. This is in addition to the comprehensive STEM program run by CFAL that is now available on an online platform that includes math and science foundation, Lego, Robotics, and Logical reasoning.
“There is a need for a literary space for Mangalore's children and the TLC library is poised to fill this gap very well. The books in the library have been collected, curated, and cataloged over the past 10 years,” said Nandita Jayaraj, the Library Program Coordinator. Nandita Jayaraj is a science journalist, author, and storyteller whose latest book '31 Fantastic Adventures in Science: Women scientists of India' was published last year.
The library is also in the process of equipping members with provisions to browse for books online, thereby unlocking its analog collections to young learners, enabling long-term access to knowledge and learning. As people continue to stay home due to the spread of coronavirus, the TLC library aims to make sure that children do not have to compromise on their access to books, nor their safety. The books currently on their physical bookshelves will soon be on digital shelves as well, making it easy to browse and select books. Selected books will be packaged and kept safely in the kerbside for the member to pick up and later drop back.
With an emphasis on providing access to information and support for lifelong learning, TLC Library is now open for membership to children across Mangalore.
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