Tips & more

Meet the 12-year-old girl who runs a free library in India

Youngest librarian in India
Yashoda D Shenoy in her free library in Kochi, India / Photo: The News Minute

India’s youngest librarian Yashoda D Shenoy strives to give free access to books to children from low-income backgrounds who would otherwise not be able to become members.

Ever since she developed a reading habit at the age of eight, Yashoda has loved books – but she had no idea about the cost one had to pay to read. “What about those who didn’t even have ten rupees with them?,” she asked in an interview with Merak Magazine.

She decided that if there were no free books so far, she had to change it and start her own library that would not overlook the poor – and asked her dad for help.

A Facebook post they made together soon went viral, and hundreds of people from all over India started donating their books. In just a month they managed to gather over 2,000 titles, making it possible for ‘Yashoda’s library’ to open on January 26.

“We began with about 2000 books, now there are more than 3500. We have separated them into fiction – stories, novels, and poems among them – and non-fiction. There are books in English, Malayalam, Konkani, Hindi, and Sanskrit,” Yashoda says.

The library is entirely free for everyone – there are no membership charges nor fines for overdue returns, but the books are generally expected to be taken out for 15 days and then brought back. For the elderly and those with physical disabilities who cannot come to the library, the books are delivered to their homes.

It is Yashoda’s dream to own a large library one day. “If you are a librarian, you’d need to retire one day. But if you own your library, you don’t need to go anywhere,” she says, with a very long-term foresight in an interview with the News Minute.

If you are a librarian, you’d need to retire one day. But if you own your library, you don’t need to go anywhere.

– Yashoda D Shenoy

Via India Today, Merak Magazine.

• • •

We removed a comment system to increase your privacy and reduce distractions. Let’s discuss this article in your WordPress Reader, or on Twitter and Facebook. You can also follow us on Google News.

Keep exploring:

Book censorship in the 2021 by the numbers
– April 26, 2022

How to set up and organize a perfect home library (infographic)
– February 21, 2022

Library Lover’s Month – there are so many ways to celebrate!
– February 1, 2022

Quotes for library walls, inspired by retro book design
– January 21, 2022

The evolution of public libraries since 7th century BCE (infographic)
– November 19, 2021

Recommendation box

Gifts for modern bookworms in 2023

Based on recommendations from top tech sites and customer reviews.

• • •

Coffee and candle warmer with USB charger

Coffee and candle warmer with USB charger

This innovative little accessory that guarantees your coffee or tea will be always warm. You can also use it to release the scent from your candle without lighting it. Thanks to USB port, you will be able to charge your phone while reading.


• • •

Innovative reading light

Compact and innovative reading light

From a German brand Nachteule comes a clever book light that you attach not to a book but your reading glasses. It’s so light that you can also clip it to your earphones or hair accessories! The built-in battery will let you read 200 pages.


• • •

Hands-free pillow stand

Hands-free pillow stand – great for e-readers and print books

An improved version of a popular Lamicall tablet pillow comes now with a side pocket for a pen or small accessories. The grooves are deep enough to hold a print book. It’s made of durable materials and is available in five fashionable colors.


More gifts for bookworms