A regular day at the school library sees me starting the day with a prayer. And then begins the influx of students from grades III to XII. The senior classes are a little thorny bunch. For them to be engaged in reading is hard. Some students do find reading enjoyable and are quiet the moment library is in sight.
But the best time is with the primary section. For them library, reading and the whole process is absolutely new. Their excitement to come to the library is simply so high that they need a lot of time to settle.
As a librarian in the present school, I am facing problems with primary section because their level of reading and comprehending the meaning is rather weak. I have a tough time getting them to sit and read, simply because they are unable to read a sentence without asking word meaning. And by then, they have lost interest in the book.
At such times what comes to my rescue is the story telling session. And to my surprise I found the kids eagerly waiting for more. They are transported to the land of kings, queens, lions, and such. Their eyes sparkle with glee and amusement when the characters are upto their antics.
The most fun class was with grade IV when I narrated a Karadi Tale about the “BLUE JACKAL”. I had the kids make sounds of animals found in the forest. At the end of the story they all howled together to mark the end. It was not only fun but also endearing to see that the magic that stories weave is not dead. We all grew up listening to stories from our mothers and grandmothers. And we all dreamt of being the princess or the fairy.
Yes stories capture the child within us and helps us live the life of the character. I narrated a few more stories to the kids. In the next class they came up with stories they had heard. They also told me that they had shared the stories I narrated with their parents at home. That’s where I feel I have succeeded. If the story touches their hearts and minds, and makes them retell the story, then I have achieved my purpose as the story reaches more audience.
It is taxing and exhausting, but when I see the smiles and enthusiasm for a new story I find myself gearing up for a new session of story time.