COOL!, or Community Owned and Operated Libraries, is an attempt to open libraries in several communities throughout Delhi. These libraries or learning centres are set up in people’s homes—in rooms that these families have very kindly agreed to let us use. In our several visits to various community spaces in Delhi, we realised that there were no library facilities for the people. Deprived of a holistic reading experience, many were curious about how libraries would benefit their children and the overall atmosphere of community life. Others expressed a strong aspiration to have them set up near them for easy accessibility.

Thus began the endeavour to train select youngsters from these very communities who could become effective ‘reader-leaders’ for the children of their respective areas. Called Katha Junior Fellows, some of them have been associated with us for more than 5 years now. Under Project COOL!, they will be responsible for planning, overlooking and maintaining the smooth conduct of these community libraries. So far, we have identified 5 clusters in the northern and southern zones of Delhi where these libraries will be started, with ten community areas within each cluster. We plan to launch twenty libraries in July.
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