Sunday, April 19, 2009

A full-fledged venture, not mere a library

From the time I have decided to work on realizing the ‘home-library’ dream, I have not thought of it as merely a library. It is not my intention to only have a collection of books and allow people to read them. I want to bring about a change in the mindset of people, of my locality to start with, and want to promote the library as a catalyst for achieving this change. For me, it is a full-fledged project with a definite mission and vision.

I have come up with mission and vision statements for the venture. This would not be possible without my attending the ILP workshop at ISB, Hyderabad - the 15th ranked B-School of the world (FT ranking-2009). The workshop was the result of a project taken up by four students of ISB along with India Literacy project (ILP), Hyderabad chapter. Out of numerous things we did there, the 4 hour brainstorming session to come up with the mission and vision of ILP was a big learning experience.

So what does a mission and a vision mean for any venture you undertake?
MISSION – it is the reason for your organization’s existence. It clearly communicates your organization’s purpose:
· What your organization does
· For whom it does it
· How the organization differs from others appearing to address similar needs
The idea is that mission statement reflects the organization’s big picture. It should not be too specific because it must remain broad enough that your organization can work with it in different ways as the needs and the climate change.

VISION – It is an interpretation of your mission statement. It paints a picture how we expect the community to look—how we expect it to be better, once the mission has been achieved. The best vision statements for result areas describe outcomes that are five to ten years away, although some look even further out. The vision statement should focus on the desired outcome for the project/goal at its completion date.

I applied the same learning to my concept. I and 3 of my friends viz. Neeraj, Pratap and Zing brainstormed for hours together in a conference room over our mission and vision. Finally we came on the same page, and we were in exact agreement on “what we are and want to achieve”.

The home library project objectives
To create an interest for reading, provide access to resources and help people realize their true potential.

To expand the concept and to target
1. A readership base of 1000
2. Members read at least 5 books a year
3. 5000 resources in library

By June, 2011 through
1. Donations
2. Publicity
3. Associating with established institutions
4. Conducting awareness programs
5. Encouraging like-minded people to adopt the concept

To start with I have considered the interested people residing in my locality-Agia and its surrounding area as the target audience. This has included all classes of people starting from children, adults, students and house wives. By statistics, there are 10 panchayats i.e. 100 revenue villages in this area, where around 27000 people used to reside. In another statistics, there are total 7 government high schools, 17 government lower primary schools and 4 private schools in this area, whose students will get benefited largely by this library. Above all, this library will enable one general common man from a diffident place to think – “How can I contribute something to the society within my limitations?”

Ground rules:
1. Library Timings: Library will be opened for 3 hours each day (excluding Sunday) from 3-30 PM to 6-30 PM

2. Membership: One has to be a member of the library to borrow books. He will be charged with INR 40 to be member. There will be 3 level of membership, which will decided based on many factors:
a. ORDN : Can borrow 1 book at a time
b. ELITE : Can borrow 2 books at a time
c. ROYAL: Can borrow 4 books at a time; will be part of any important activities/events of the library.

3. Librarian: To start with below mentioned persons will carry out the responsibility on honorary basis:
a. Hiran Prova Devi , MA (Assamese), Subject teacher
b. Yet to be identified; will update later

4. Donor: We will be keeping track of all the donations (books/Money) to the library through our automated software. Once donated, donor will not have any authority on the resources. I can think of a few scenarios here:
a. Individual donating books: Any individual donating more than 3 books will be provided with ELITE or ROYAL membership without membership charge. Also, names will be published on blogs/registers.
b. Organization donating books: We will acknowledge it highly and will track all their contributions. The organization can use library name in any of their social cause (Not money related). Also, names will be published on blogs/registers.
c. Anybody donating money: Efforts are on to register it as NGO so that people can gain the income tax benefit for donating to this project. Other benefits will be applicable as previous ones.

NB: I am currently working on writing a constitution/Rule Book for the management of the library keeping the vision and mission in compliance. I will publish it on due time.

1. Place: One separate room of size 21``X 13`` at the front part of our house.

2. Furniture:
a. 1 steel almirah with general sized book capacity of around 3000
b. 1 wooden almirah of general sized book capacity of around 800
c. 1 wooden rack of general sized book capacity of around 600
d. 1 small wooden rack of general sized book capacity of around 300
e. 2 wooden tables of medium size for studying
f. 2 wooden benches
g. 5 wooden+ plastics chairs

3. Others:
a. 1 Personal Computer with AMD 2600-32 bit processor, ASUS motherboard, 256 GB RAM and 60 GB HDD.
b. 4 long register books

4. Software: The library management software is the process. A nice effort to maintain symphony between simplicity (due to hardware restriction) and use of latest technology (After all, we work for MicrosoftJ) is being carried out by Alvaro, my flat-mate. A detailed and dedicated blog on the software will be published later.


  1. Thats a really really good idea...i dont remeber but i hav seen this concept in some movie...the library was run by missionaries...this idea can be implemented insde far flung areas of assam...i hav seen those community computer centers...although there is effect but its not much...i will think how i can contribute...... :)

  2. i admire your thought, your dreams, your passion. thanks for the work. pleasure knowing this. way to go!.