With books, toys, and warm reading corners, Glow Worm Club’s new library space has over 4500 children’s books in circulation

Nestled within a quiet street on Spur Tank Road, stands a cosy library space exclusively for children. It does not seem like a library now though, as a noisy bunch, some in uniforms, trickle in after school. They have been asked to come in for a play rehearsal. We see a colourful room replete with toys, books, and remnants from a Harry Potter-themed party the library had at the launch recently.

Glow Worm Club’s new space in Chetpet — a library and activity centre — is bustling with activity as the number of children swells on weekdays. The eight-year-old collective, which aims to inculcate the reading habit among children, makes children’s books spanning all genres, accessible. With the new space, Glow Worm Club, which caters to toddlers and kids up to 14 years of age, wishes to encourage informative learning and communication between children, in an environment different from a school.

Glow Worm Club’s new library and an activity centre has a lot to interest toddlers and children

The first to grab one’s attention in the centre are the colourful yet simple bookshelves with many children’s classics and comics. Lined along the walls of the rooms are tiny red and white chairs for little ones, who can pick up a book and find a cosy corner to read. The relatively bigger drawing room in the centre is where the boisterous group of actors has been stationed at for now. They are practising their various exits from stage; from here, we enter the drawing room’s left end. This room, a calming combination of earthy reds and navy blues, is where the little readers who like peace and quiet, can assemble. Another bookshelf adorns its walls.

“Siblings can come and work around the space. The older children can find a quiet corner to read in peace, while the younger ones can make use of the toddlers’ room,” says Shweta Nanavati, who founded the club eight years back, owing to the fact that most libraries in the city do not cater to children below eight years of age.

Glow Worm Club’s new library and an activity centre has a lot to interest toddlers and children
An avid reader herself, Shweta realised that books for toddlers and smaller children ( tactile and picture books for instance) are expensive and not easily accessible. The concept of a lending library came about thus. The club currently has more than 4,500 books for circulation.

“Most often, people say that mine is the most noisy library,” Shweta laughs adding, “But the idea is to give children that freedom.” She adds that children are also encouraged to interact with each other and their own parents while reading. Parents are also asked to accompany the children and even read with them, which according to Shwetha, is the ideal exercise to bond. But, over the course of eight years, Shwetha says that there is a visible decrease in the number of registrations. “Earlier, when parents travelled with children, they took a book with them. Now, iPads have replaced books.”

Theatre workshops, reading and storytelling sessions, and vocabulary-building activities which the club has been conducting, will now happen at this space, located at Vivekananda Road, Chetpet. For details, contact 9840506041.