Children's delight: New-look library to revive love for books in India's easternmost tip

The initiative seeks to provide an attractive alternative to youth who find traditional libraries boring, cliched and outdated, says IAS officer Sunny K Singh

Published: 12th May 2022 04:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2022 04:33 PM   |  A+A-

It will also screen motivational movies every week (Photo | Special arrangement)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Ease into a hammock and peruse the autobiography of Charles Chaplin or sit up with a straight back and prepare for examinations, students in the Miao subdivision of India’s eastern-most Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh will love the New Age Learning Centre (NALC).

Inaugurated on May 7 by Minister Kamlung Mossang but made officially functional from Thursday (May 12), it doesn’t look or feel like the old university or school libraries.

Sunny K Singh, the young IAS officer posted there as the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC), wanted to let children enjoy the habit of reading. Quite unlike a government building, the NALC, set up at the ADC’s office complex, is designed like a reading cafe with air-conditioning and colourful cushions with white coloured book shelves completing the well-lit walls.

The library has books of all genres, including those helpful to prepare for competitive exams such as NEET, IIT, UPSC, state civil services, NDA etc. It also provides free Wi-Fi service in order to enable the children avail e-books.

Singh says it is like the essence of a library, cafe and smart, futuristic and interactive space interwoven together.

“The idea of NALC is revive the dying reading habits among the youth considering that libraries are getting redundant in an era of e-books and information overload on the World Wide Web,” he said.

The initiative seeks to provide an attractive alternative to youth who find traditional libraries boring, cliched and outdated, Singh says.

“The NALC intends to incorporate futuristic design based on the aspirations of youth to make it relevant for the present as well as future generations. In a nutshell, it promotes smart and fun learning experience for the readers,” the ADC says.

Another idea behind its establishment is to enable children from the economically-weaker section, who do not have comfortable reading space at home, to come and study the books of their choice as well as enjoy the comfort and smart features of the NALC.

“The whole range of books starting from children section, fiction, non-fiction, academic, competitive books, biographies, autobiographies, motivational books etc will cater to the needs of students, who wanted to read them before but couldn’t afford to do so,” Singh says.

The two-storey facility has been set up on a 2,000 sq ft area with crowd and government funding. An estimated Rs 30 lakh went into its making.

Singh says the library may be opened beyond the scheduled timing on special requests by ascertaining merit. It will screen motivational movies every Friday and the name of the movie will be displayed on the library notice board every Monday.

The membership fee is free for the first 200 children and for those coming from the economically-weaker section (EWS). Ration card will be treated as the supporting document for EWS section.

For others, the lifetime membership is Rs 50 along with a security deposit of Rs 100. The library has kept some tablets but they can be used only for the purpose of study. The library is equipped with CCTV-based monitoring.

“The library period of nearby schools will be conducted at the NALC. Quiz competitions will be conducted at the NALC once in every fortnight,” Singh said.

This is the first of its kind library in Arunachal and perhaps the entire Northeast. And for the record, the Miao subdivision has a population of some 50,000. The Changlang district, which shares a border with Myanmar, boasts of the picturesque Namdapha National Park.


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