A 12-year-old girl becomes ‘youngest librarian’ in the country after setting up a free library with a collection of 3,500 books in total and 110 members. Yashoda D Shenoy, the founder of “Yashoda’s Library is an avid reader and lover of books. The class 7 student from TD High School in Kochi, Kerala developed reading as a habit when she was in Class 3. She once borrowed a book from a library and was fined when she was unable to return the book on time. This incident got her thinking about how children belonging to low-income groups could read or become members of a library.
It was then that she pondered upon the idea of a library which would not charge membership fees nor impose fines for returning books after the due date.
Today, Yashoda has a library containing over 2,500 books in Malayalam and about 1,000 in English. There are also books in Konkani, Hindi and Sanskrit for children as well as adults
Yashoda runs the library from the upper floor of her house converting the gallery of her artist dad to a library-cum-gallery. The family keep the library open every day from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm and when Yashoda is in school her mother, father or brother look after the library
She says that she receives books through public donations. However, her initial few books came after her father posted on Facebook. She says, “My father started posting on Facebook and the responses were overwhelming. People donated books for my library.”