This year our focus is to try and reach out to areas outside Panjim to spread the joy of reading. With every Book fair we organize, we take 1 step forward, but this was a leap for us! This time we touched base with Margao.
We were welcomed at Vidya Vikas Academy with enthusiasm, despite the parents being unaware that there would be a book fair.
The fair was fruitful in many ways. We interacted with a lot of parents, some who were happy to see us in Margao and some who we made connections with for the first time. A parent asked us if we were opening a branch in Margao! No plans, at least for now. We do try to bridge the gap in some way. At the library we offer the Family Book Treasury, a flexible scheme that allows families from outside Panjim to borrow books for a longer period of time.
A few parents told me their children read much. But the smile that flashed quickly disappeared, from my face when I realised that what they were referring to were textbooks! How textbooks have become the focus of our learning! Somewhere we seem to have forgotten that children need stories and storybooks to grow, to find new experiences and discover the joys of life. Stories balance the lives of children and don’t control them in any way.
Much work needs to be done. We march on… relentlessly.