On its initial days of activity, Niayesh School Library, a newly established Read with Me library in Kermanshah, hosted children who weren’t acquainted with the open and joyful environment of Read with Me libraries. The librarian who’s also the schoolmistress tells of children’s first encounters with this library:
“To my surprise, during the first few days, children were shy and reserved. And this was unpleasant to me. They entered the library quietly, looked at the surroundings with surprised looks. They even seemed like they were waiting for me to allow them to sit!”
She says that children thought they should behave the same as when they’re in a classroom: “Even the way they sat reminded me of a traditional school environment.” So, this creative librarian decided to make a few changes and become closer to children: “Maybe I needed to distance myself from the role of librarian to break the ice…”
So one day, she wears informal clothes and invites the student board members to the library. She asks them to decide what activities they’d want in the library, instead of having teachers and parents decide for them.
“I asked them to make decisions and encourage their classmates to visit the library.”
“We started by reading the Reader’s Oath. Then we went through the guide to choosing books, talked about reading books and library activities. I distributed their membership cards and in the end, they enthusiastically borrowed books,” she says about their first activity at the library.
Her efforts paid off and this time, a student invited her friends for a read-aloud sessions. A few hours after school, the librarian received a message from one of the members. A student had drawn the characters of a book and read-aloud parts of the book using the drawings.