The Smart Librarian – Joseph Colin

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Hippocampus in conversation with the enthusiastic and committed librarian – Joseph Colin of Bangalore International School, Yelahanka.

  1. What inspired you to become a librarian?

I have always loved books and children, ergo wanted to be a library teacher. But if I have to name a person who inspired me, it would be my college librarian – Mr Tom. Our college library is a huge building and I was looking for “The Great Gatsby” by Scott Fitzgerald and I did not know where to begin looking for it. I  had just asked him once, and he instantly ran to the second floor took a right, ran few more meters, reached a shelf and pulled the book out. I was fascinated that knew a lot about books.

  1. What motivates you each day?

My students and their happy faces.

  1. What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?

Reading and telling African folk tales. Especially to children of Grades 2 to 5.

  1. What are the challenges you face and how do you tackle them?

Handling grades 7 and grade 8. (Bursts into laughter) Don’t publish this, I am still figuring ways to tackle them.

  1. How do you choose books for your library and how often?

I do surveys, take feed back and books recommendations from students and teachers.  I also do a little research online about new books. This is an ongoing, through-the year process.

  1. What is your favourite area/section in the library?

That small room where I read and tell stories with walls embellished with children’s artwork and writings.

  1. Do you involve children in the running of the library?

Not much. However children’s recommendations are taken into consideration while procuring books.

  1. What are your thoughts about guided reading programs?

I leave that to the English teachers.

  1. Which are the 5 most popular titles/series in your library.

All Dr.Seuss and Geronimo Stilton Books  among the younger age group.

The Harry Porter series, The Hunger Games Series, and all books by John Green among middle and high school children.

  1. What are your favourite children’s books?

It is difficult to name just a few. However, I really like all  Dr.Seuss books, all Eric Carle books, And books about African Folk tales.

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