Chennai: J Lalitha, a resident of Bharathidasan Colony, K K Nagar, received the Best Librarian Award during the 127th birth anniversary celebration of S R Ranganathan who is known as the Father of Library Science, 12 August.
The event was organised by Madras Library Association, one of the oldest associations in India. The award was given to 10 outstanding librarians and presented by former Vice-Chancellor of Anna University S Vishwanathan.
Speaking to News Today, Lalitha said, “I am honoured to receive the award. I have been a librarian since 1976 and getting the award during Ranganathan’s birthday was a memorable moment.”
She has a master’s degree in Sanskrit and is also a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS). She is currently working at Kuppuswami Sastri Research Institute; before that she was in the Adyar Library and Research Centre. Her area of expertise is preservation and conservation of palm leaf manuscripts and rare books.
She has also presented papers in national conferences, workshops in Chennai, Thanjavur, Kerala and colleges throughout India.
Speaking about her life around books, she said, “There are different views among people. Only books can remove all these unwanted views. Generally, books are well-connected with education. The reading of books creates new ideas. One may read to forget, to escape or to experience various chills and thrills. Reading for enjoyment, however, is an activity of a different sort: it is the pleasurable exercise of human psyche. Good books not only reflect and reveal, they also interpret human character, beliefs and behaviour.”
Lalitha added that after the entry of television, mobile phones reading habit has gone down among the people.
“Reading of specific books for the purpose of healing is known as Bibliotherapy. Introducing reading habit in elementary schools can be very beneficial to students and teachers. The teachers should select appropriate reading material and match them to the needs of individual students to assist them in the development of self-awareness, problem-solving, learning skills, perspective taking and understanding of problems,” she reels out.
Lalitha feels that imbibing the reading habit will help students solve problems, cope with teasing, name calling, mockery, fears, sexuality changes and anxiety.
The veteran librarian pointed out that recently, the Directorate of School Education in Tamilnadu issued an order that in government schools weekly two periods should be allotted for reading books.
Monthly once during prayer time, students should share their views about the book they read.
Lalitha can be reached at 99410 80144.