Heart of the School: Bangalore International School

HEART OF THE SCHOOL is aimed at showcasing dynamic school libraries across the country where librarians are doing amazing work to build and nurture a culture of reading. This month, we are featuring Bangalore International School, Bangalore, and highlighting a few key aspects of their library that have contributed to making it a special reading space for children. The BIS Library Media Centre is often described by the school as an ‘intellectual getaway’.

a) Enthusiastic team of librarians – The first thing that will strike you about the BIS library is the incredible enthusiasm exuded by their team of librarians – Joseph Colin, J Asha and Suryanarayana. It’s always heartening to see librarians who are open to exploring new ways in which to promote joyful reading, even when there are challenges involved. The BIS library team believes that their strength lies in being able to create a friendly atmosphere in the library and being flexible in their approach.

b) Diverse library activities – There’s never a dull moment at the BIS library. While there is ample time set aside for quiet reading time, diverse library activities aimed at making reading fun for children are conducted frequently (Bookmark contests, analyzing book characters, making book-related posters, writing letters to authors, etc).

c) Author visits – At BIS, children love interacting with authors. Some of the authors who visited them in 2013 were popular writers Poile Sengupta, Monideepa Sahu and Rukhsana Khan. This year, even before May 2014, they are hoping to invite children’s writers Deepika Murty (Pika Nani), RamG Vallath and Suzanne Sangi.

d) Growing, relevant book collection – Today, there are roughly 30,000 books at the BIS library. Every month, 30 new books are added to this collection. What’s impressive is that book-suggestions from children are taken very seriously and the library team doesn’t hesitate to procure these books. Weeding of books is an annual affair, with typically around 50 unused books being removed. This helps them maintain a relevant collection that is used by children.

e) Recognizing challenges and searching for solutions – Like with any other library, the BIS librarians are faced with challenges and to tackle these, they are constantly experimenting to see what works. For instance, getting middle-school children interested in reading has been an ongoing challenge for them. To solve this, all middle-school children were asked to suggest books that they would like to see in their library. These books were procured and activities based on these books were conducted. Involving their favourite literature teacher while conducting library activities also helped.

BIS Library Team’s Favourite Children Books

Primary school The Terrible Greedy Fossifoo by Charles Fuge

Elementary SchoolBig Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

Middle SchoolBoris by the Sea by Matvei Yankelevich

High SchoolIt Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet by James Herriot

Write to us at hippocampus.librarian@gmail.com if you feel that your school library is a dynamic learning space that deserves to be highlighted in HOO’ked on Books

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