Thank you for taking this noble step towards creating a Kalam Library. Here are some FAQs on how to set up a Kalam Library.

What does a Kalam Library have to achieve? 

Every Kalam Library has to achieve the following goals: 

  1. Setup a physical and if possible a digital library 
  2. Set Up a pool of regular mentors for the library to give children dreams
  3. Develop content for the library 

What is needed for setting up a Basic Library?

The Kalam Library set up begins with identifying a venue which can host a library. This can be a school, orphanage, children observatory/correction center, panchayat area, unused office areas or any space which is devoted by a contributor. It is encouraged to avoid rented spaces – as it hampers sustainability in the long run. 

Good connectivity with public transport for volunteer movement is encouraged though not mandated. 

What items and hardware is needed? 

  1. At least 50 books suitable for children. Preference to have at least 2/3rd books in regional languages. Subjects may include: Motivational books, Science books, Children magazines, Sports magazines, books written by and on Dr. Kalam, books on India, Science publications, Competitive exam books (relevant to a school child), books on Career guidance, GK books, Children’s fiction.
    Please avoid books related to Cinema, Fashion, non-children friendly fiction etc.
    Second hand books are also welcome. 
  2. Hardware to store the books  – racks, shelves, chairs etc. These may be available at the school or organization where the library is being set up or have to be procured. 
  3. One large Flex board (design supplied by Kalam Library ONLY. In case you wish to put a co-branding please inform Kalam Library Creative Team)
  4. Optional: Standees (design will be supplied by Kalam Library)
  5. Optional: Computer or laptop (refurbished or new). Please use only when there the school where the library is being setup already has an assigned teacher/librarian and proper power and internet connection. 
  6. Feel encouraged to get your parents, seniors and others to inaugurate your Kalam library. 

What activities have to be conducted? 

Merely setting up books would not suffice with the overall objective of the library. The Kalam Library created has to become a centre of continuous learning and augmentation of knowledge. The books there need to be complemented with human books – people sharing their ideas and wisdom with the children. Some suggestive points for continuous process of such interventions are listed below: 

  1. Establish a core team to mentor all activities in the Kalam Library. This panel can be 3-5 members strong and should include representation from the school or institution where the library is established. These members would be connected to other such team members over groups to share ideas and lessons. 
  2. Conduct surveys to find the need-gap analysis of children which will help the core team to identify what books and lectures need to be conducted. Such survey tools will be provided by the Kalam Library Central Office. But remember to be constructive in such a process and not critical. 
  3. At least once a fortnight organize a lecture from an expert at the Kalam Library for the kids who are associated with it. The speakers can be artists, engineers, lawyers, doctors, armed forces and police officers, writers, journalists, film and radio personalities, professors, students in higher education, teachers, doctors and scientists, businessmen, chefs and practically any career professionals. They can conduct sessions of topics of their interest and that of the interest of the children. One of the most successful sessions we have experienced is “How to become me?” where an expert tells children they can achieve the career which the expert has pursued. 
  4. Alternatively, Kalam Library has a repository of lessons on technology and values which you can self-learn and then teach the children in a session. These come with presentations and other creative material and you should be aware of what AV facilities are available before selecting a lesson. 
  5. Time to time, Kalam Library Project runs professional training programs for children (e.g. e-marketing, electric vehicle etc) which are in partnership with industry. You will be informed of such programs when they are available, and depending on your assessment of the children’s needs you can conduct such a program at your library.
  6. Encourage people to gift books and material for the library as part of their (or their friend’s and loved one’s) birthday and anniversary. 

How to evaluate your library?

We encourage you to establish a performance evaluation mechanism for your library. We also urge you to share stories of your Kalam Library in your social media channels.. 

As you are Kalam Library founder we need you to update us on the activities in it on a bi-monthly basis covering any lectures, new books, lessons learnt and visits. This report may contain pictures/videos which we can share on Kalam Library pages and also on Kalam Centre pages with a combined followership of over 25 lacs people. Our combined family will love to celebrate your success and learn from your lessons. 

What do I get if I support a library? 

We do understand that you may not have the space available to set up your own library. Or you may want to support others to set-up a new in a place which needs a library. Or you may want to gift a library on the birthday or anniversary of someone who is important to you and in your circle of loved ones. You are welcome to partner with us. 

The minimum cost of setting up a Kalam Library through a remote support program is Rs. 12,000. Once we receive your interest we will contact you with the available options, locations which need to be served and other details. We select library to be setup on an algorithm based on two criteria:

  • Availability of a on-ground librarian (volunteer/teacher) who can anchor the setting up and management of the library
  • Urgency of the need of library based on the profile of the children benefitting. 

All libraries are free of cost to the users. 

If you partner with us to set up a library, besides giving you loads of love and joy from the kids we give you the following goodies: 

  1. A special and exclusive T-Shirt for Kalam Librarians 
  2. Two badges for Kalam Librarians
  3. A special handcrafted certificate for your support (You can also convert this to gift form to give to someone else)
  4. A picture of the inauguration of the library 
  5. Recognition of your support in the library established (you can dedicate the library to someone else too. Hint: Parents, Grand Parents, Teachers, Spouses, Children. We will not be able to allow dedications to celebrities/political leaders etc. though you can dedicate to your organization/company)
  6. This is a well audited program which works in partnership with many state governments across India. If you need, we will furnish and Section 80G certificate which you can use to claim tax benefits against your donation. 

We do encourage you to continue supporting the library of your choosing over years to ensure longevity, upgrading and supporting the volunteer managing the library. 

What kind of books can I use for the Kalam Library?

  1. Children books including fiction, motivation, biographies, science and technology, maths, values, nation building, career guidance and social sciences. 
  2. Text books may also be used but should not exceed more than two copies of the same book. 
  3. Exercise books should be used only if in unused condition. Already used exercise books have little value. 
  4. Kalam Center will donate an author signed copy of What Can I Give?: Life Lessons from my teacher Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (available in multiple languages) to every Kalam Library after one month of operation. 

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