Barren bookshelves and padlocked cabinets do not provide a good environment for reading.
Yet for many children, it is all they have since the schools do not have the money to buy books and there is no private space to read at home.
But given that all of us at SRI are big readers, creating library spaces has been a big priority for us.
Most of the time we have not had to build libraries from scratch.
We have usually been able to take a dilapidated classroom and secure it from the elements by putting in windows, doors and fitted ceilings.
We then refurbish the insides with bookshelves, reading tables and chairs.
Most importantly of all, we have made sure there is a lending system so the children can take books home.
cases, we employ out-of-hours librarians so children who can’t read at home,
can use the library after school instead.
We have opened libraries in 17 schools so far. The most recent six have been sponsored by HSBC.
The cost of establishing a library depends on the amount of renovation work, which needs to take place.
Generally speaking, this can vary from US$2,000 to US$4,000 per library, with furniture costing a further US$1,200 and books up to US$1,000 on top of that.
Andaragasyaya Primary School, Beralihela Primary School, Debarawewa Presidents Primary College, Gangeyaya School, KG 01 Primary School, Madavalana School, Mulana School, Osuwinna School, Tissapura School, Uduwila School, Welligattha School, Weerahela School, Karambagalmulla Primary School, Mahasenpura School, KG 03 Primary School, Lelwala School, Kotagoda School, Uda Mattala School, Kithulkote School, Kiula School, Usbim School