This is a WIP draft.
Access to knowledge is key to develop critical thinking. Public libraries are a great mechanism to enable access.
Ongoing pandemic has sharpened the digital divide as schools, colleges went online and low-income students had to rely on generous individuals for support which many didn’t get too. Several individuals came forward to lend or buy mobile phones, tablets and laptops to help students in online education. However, individuals cannot match or replace institutional might.
We need community libraries that welcome anyone, and enable access to knowledge.
Here is a not so comprehensive list of services:
- technical support
- provide books (literature, classics, children)
- access to internet
- explore freedombox
- renting devices
UNESCO public library manifesto defines a set of principles for operating public libraries.
It’s a good starting point to define the mission of a public library.
There are some initiatives underway to fill the gap of public libraries.
The community library project is a lovely initiative that focuses on creating reading experience for first-generation readers. It wants to create a movement to start several community libraries.
TCLP appears to be an offshoot from Deepalaya community library with a vision to create free community libraries.
Katha appears to be the one in this space the longest. Its 300M goal is a commendable one.
CIRC by DEF
Digital Empowerment Foundation’s CIRC (community information resource center) is the closest in principle to our idea but differs from activities standpoint. It’ll be great to learn from them.