By A Correspondent
New Delhi: Penguin Random House India recently held the second annual Penguin Librarian Meet to a full house–in Kolkata on November 7 and in Delhi on November 22.
This is the first time a publishing house in India created a property to celebrate libraries and librarians, both cornerstones of the reading community.
Penguin Random House India launched the first librarian meet in 2018 to bring to focus on the commitment of librarians across the country in fostering a love for reading. Niti Kumar, senior vice president, marketing, digital and communications, said, ‘Children interact with the school library before coming across their first bookstore and librarians are, perhaps, the only adult other than the parents, who are in a position to influence the reading habit of a child. We strongly believe that librarians are custodians of reading and it is important that as publishers we not only acknowledge their contribution but also create opportunities for meaningful conversation and better connections.’
The Penguin Librarian Meet 2019 opened in Kolkata on November 7 in partnership with Oxford Storyteller Bookstore. The launch event saw enthusiastic participation from over 70 schools and over 80 librarians attended the meet. The day was planned with interesting conversations and discussions about the many aspects of the library- from engagement with new readers to strengthening libraries role in schools. Mayura Misra, owner Storyteller Bookstore and the event partner said, ‘It has been a fond wish of mine for many years to host librarians at our bookstore. With the help and assistance of Penguin Random House India, the Librarian’s Meet has gone from strength to strength.’
The closing event of The Penguin Librarian Meet was organized in Delhi in partnership with Kool Skool, leading children’s bookstore in Delhi NCR. At the event, over 130 librarians were present and participated in a workshop by Andrea Bowie who is a part of the Puffin team in UK and works on the Puffin World of Stories project that helps teachers create reading spaces/libraries in schools. The panel discussion received many inputs from the audience as they talked about choosing the right books for children.
Honourable deputy chief minister and education minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia delivered the key note speech and he spoke about the significant role libraries play in a child’s development. The event closed with Sisodia signing copies of his best-selling debut book Shiksha, which recounts his experiences and experiments as an education minister and presents a blow by blow account of rejuvenating Delhi’s education system.
Commenting on the event, Amit Sarin, owner, Kool Skool said, ‘To build a strong reading culture in our schools and among our children, it is crucial to train and empower our librarians. Through regular outreach and events such as these we hope to give them avenues to build on their skills and knowledge.’
At the event, Ankit Juneja, divisional lead- school sales, Penguin Random House India, announced an exclusive program for school children – Bookshelf by Penguin – which will enable children to choose from the wide range of books published by Penguin and purchase them at attractive prices. Schools are required to register to be a part of this program upon which schoolchildren will receive brochures in a timely fashion of the growing collection of children and young adult titles released by the publishing house.