Kerala: 12-year-old operates free library in Kochi

Kochi: A deep love for books and reading has prompted a 12-year-old from Kochi to set up and run a free library in this Kerala city and lay claim possibly to the title of ‘youngest librarian’ perhaps in the entire country.

With a total collection of 3,500 books Yashoda D Shenoy, operates the “Yashoda’s library”, which currently has 110 members.

“My library contains over 2,500 books in Malayalam language and about 1,000 in English. This library is free for everyone, with no membership charges and no fine charges in case of delay in returning books,” says Yashoda.

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The girl says her family supports her decision to run a library of her own. “My father started posting on Facebook and the responses were overwhelming, people donated books for my library,” Yashoda told ANI.
She further added, “Since then, I have been receiving donations by the general public and that is how I have been maintaining a good collection of books in this library.”

When Yashoda was in class three, she says she developed a reading habit.
Once, she failed to return a book she had lent from a nearby library and was fined for the delay. The incident left her worried about how children hailing from low-income backgrounds could read or become members of a library?

She soon hit upon the idea of a library, which would not charge membership fees nor impose fines for returning books beyond the due date.

Yashoda herself aspires to become an advocate one day.
“Yashoda loves to read books, and she believes that reading should be free for everyone. Her brother is also a member of her library. I am very proud of my daughter,” Yashoda’s father Dinesh. R. Shenoy told ANI.

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