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Library Collection Guidelines – CBSE NEP and International Boards

By Collection Development No Comments

Jamie Taylor jamiehowardtaylor, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The library collection policy for a CBSE school library should be based on the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and the National Education Policy (NEP). The policy should include the following elements:

  • The library should have diverse books, including literature, non-fiction, reference materials, and digital resources.
  • The library should prioritize acquiring books that align with the NCF and NEP, focusing on Indian authors and works that promote inclusivity and diversity.
  • The library should actively seek out and acquire books representing India’s cultural and linguistic diversity, including regional-language books.
  • The library should provide access to various digital resources, including e-books, databases, and online journals.
  • The library should review and de-select materials that need to be updated, in better condition, or no longer relevant to the curriculum.
  • The library should work closely with teachers and students to ensure the collection meets their needs and supports the school’s curriculum and educational goals.
  • The library should have a system to monitor the collection usage and use the data to inform development decisions.
  • The library should also have a process for accepting donations and gifts of books and other materials.
  • The library should also have a process for interlibrary loans and document delivery to support the research needs of the school community.

Percentages of different genres in the library collection

Justori Genre.jpg – Wikimedia Commons under CCA

The percentage of different genres in the library collection can vary depending on the specific needs and interests of the school community.

However, as a general guideline, a balanced collection should include a mix of the following genres:

  • Literature: This can include fiction, poetry, and drama from various cultures and time periods. The percentage of literature in the collection could be around 25-30%.
  • Non-fiction: This can include books on subjects such as science, history, and social studies. The percentage of non-fiction in the collection could be around 30-35%. (However, this is being reduced due to the use of information online)
  • Reference materials: This can include dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other resources students can use for research and study. The percentage of reference materials in the collection could be around 10-15%. (This is also being reduced due to databases and online encyclopedias)
  • Digital resources: This can include e-books, databases, and online journals. The percentage of digital resources in the collection could be around 10-15%. (The increase is directly proportional to the number of devices students and faculty are using in schools)
  • Multilingual collection: The collection should represent India’s linguistic and cultural diversity, including books in regional languages. The percentage of multilingual collections in the library could be around 10-15%. A general guideline, a balanced collection should include a mix of books in different languages, including regional languages, to represent the linguistic and cultural diversity of India.

It’s important to note that this is just a general guideline, and the actual percentage of each genre in the collection may vary depending on the specific needs and interests of the school community.

I have not conducted a personal audit, but based on the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and the National Education Policy (NEP), you can use them as a reference.

Difference between the library collection for a CBSE school and an International school library

The library collections of a CBSE school and an international school library have many similarities, but there are also some key differences.

  1. One of the main differences is that a CBSE school library is expected to align its collection with the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and the National Education Policy (NEP) of India, which prioritize Indian authors and works that promote inclusivity and diversity. An international school library, on the other hand, aligns its collection with its specific curriculum, whether it is IGSC or any other.
  2. Another difference is that a CBSE school library is expected to have a significant percentage of its collection in regional languages, reflecting India’s linguistic and cultural diversity. On the other hand, an international school library may have a more diverse collection of books in different languages, including English, as well as books in other languages spoken by its student population, which may be French, Chinese, Japanese or Spanish.

Additionally, an international school library may have more resources to support students learning English as a second language, such as ESL materials and language learning software.

Similarities between CBSE and International School Curriculum:

  • Both libraries should have a diverse collection of books, including literature, non-fiction, reference materials, and digital resources.
  • Both should also prioritize the acquisition of books that align with the school’s curriculum and educational goals and actively seek out and acquire books that represent the cultural and linguistic diversity of the school community.
  • Both should have a system in place to monitor usage of the collection and use the data to inform collection development decisions.

It’s important to note that the specific collection of a CBSE or an International school library may vary depending on the school community and the region.

Library Collection policy for an IB school

The International Baccalaureate (IB) organization oversees the IB Diploma Program and provides guidelines for the development and management of school libraries but does not have a specific library collection policy. However, IB schools are expected to have a library collection that supports the school’s educational goals and mission and aligns with the IB’s philosophy of international-mindedness and intercultural understanding.

A library collection at an IB school should:

  • Be inclusive and diverse: The collection should reflect the cultural and linguistic diversity of the school community and the world and include books by authors from different cultures and backgrounds.
  • Support the curriculum: The collection should include resources that support the school’s academic programs, including the IB Diploma Program, and provide students with the information and skills they need to succeed in their studies.
  • Encourage reading for pleasure: The collection should include a variety of fiction and non-fiction books to encourage students to read for pleasure and develop a love of reading.
  • Be up-to-date and relevant: The collection should be regularly reviewed and updated to include current and relevant information and resources.
  • Provide access to digital resources: The collection should include access to digital resources, such as e-books, databases, and online journals, to support research and study.
  • Reflect the language profile of the school: The collection should be available in the languages spoken by the students and in English.
  • IB schools should also have a system to monitor the collection usage and use the data to inform collection development decisions.

The library staff should actively seek out and acquire books that align with the school’s curriculum and educational goals and represent the cultural and linguistic diversity of the school community.

It is important to note that these are just general guidelines. The most important role of the librarian is to provide the resources to match the curriculum and the specific needs and interests of the school community.

Should school libraries include romantic novels for teenagers?

By Collection Development, Librarian's Role, School Libraries 3 Comments

It is generally considered that teenagers above 14 years may read romantic books because it  can positively influence a teenager’s understanding of the complexities of relationships and serve as an essential tool for personal growth and self-discovery.

Reading any literature can also help teenagers develop their reading skills and expand their vocabulary. 

Here is a list of the positive impact of romantic novels: 

  • It can provide a safe outlet for exploring and understanding their emotions and experiences related to relationships and love. 
  • Reading about characters going through similar experiences can help teenagers feel less alone and more understood. 
  • Romantic literature often provides healthy and positive examples of relationships, which is beneficial for teenagers as they navigate the complexities of their relationships.
  • It can help them develop empathy and understanding towards others. They can explore different perspectives and emotions of characters in romantic literature.
  • They can develop the ability to relate to others and create stronger relationships. 
  • Reading romantic novels from other cultures gives us a more global perspective and understanding of culture and relationships. 

Some popular romantic Indian titles include:

The Secret Wish List by Preeti Shenoy

The One You Cannot Have by Preeti Shenoy

The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan. 

These books offer a mix of romance, family dynamics, cultural traditions, and self-discovery.

A study published in the International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research found that reading romantic literature can also positively impact readers’ emotional well-being. The study found that reading romantic literature can help improve readers’ moods and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Here are a few romantic book titles for teenagers  (15 years and younger)

  1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  4. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  5. The Selection by Kiera Cass
  6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  7. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
  8. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  9. The Selection by Kiera Cass

A balance of different genres of books and media is always recommended.

Here is a list of recommended Indian fiction for grades 12 years and above

More Indian Fiction from Good Reads

Here are a few examples of popular romantic fiction for young adults from other countries.

  1. China: “To Our Youth That is Fading Away” by Guo Jingming
  2. Korea: “Love Alarm” by Chon Kye-young
  3. Nigeria: “The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives” by Lola Shoneyin
  4. Spain: “The Red Notebook” by Antoine Laurain
  5. Eastern Europe: “The Museum of Abandoned Secrets” by Olga Grushin
  6. India: “The Immortals of Meluha” by Amish Tripathi.

Colleen Hoover’s romantic titles are trending in urban society. However, Colleen herself recommends her books to older students above 16 or above 12th grade. The content has explicit sexual descriptions and mature themes like rape and sexual assaults.

What can librarians do – include or not?

A balance of genres is important to create a robust collection to meet the needs of all students – intellectual, social and emotional well-being. It is important to provide recreational reading too.

It is also important to keep in mind that since we do not know each child personally, it is important to keep general romantic fiction in the collection and not very intense romantic novels because they may turn out to be triggers that we may not know. 

For example, several years ago – Thirteen Reasons Why? by Jay Asher, created quite a storm in teenage circles.

Differences between adult romance novels and young adult novels

Adult romance novels typically feature characters in their late twenties or older with complex relationships. They may contain explicit sexual content and mature themes such as infidelity, rape, divorce,  and ageing. 

Young adult romance novels, on the other hand, feature characters typically between the ages of 12 and 17 and may focus on themes such as first love, coming of age, and self-discovery. 

Additionally, young adult novels often concentrate more on the characters’ personal growth and development, while adult novels may focus more on romantic relationships.

Finally, a robust collection of all genres is recommended to build healthy individuals in society. Variety is the spice of life, and that’s why Librarians are an important part of the school eco-system.


Are You a NEP Ready Librarian?

By NEP2020, Professional Development, Professional Learning No Comments

What are NEP 2020 expectations for Librarians?

When NEP 2020 was released, I expressed my views from a librarian’s perspective on the Impact of NEP 2020 on Teacher Librarians (India)

After that, I am considering how we can take this forward and how librarians can be NEP-ready to support and build all forms of literacies for students to become meta-literate.

What does NEP 2020 say for Libraries:

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is a policy document released by the Government of India that outlines the vision and goals for the education sector in India. It covers many topics, including early childhood care and education, school education, higher education, and vocational education. The NEP 2020 has several provisions that relate to librarians and library management.

  1. Use of Technology

One of the key expectations of the NEP 2020 for librarians is to promote technology in library management and make libraries more accessible to users. This includes using digital platforms and tools to manage library collections and services and provide users with access to a wide range of electronic resources.

     2. Use of Open Education Resources.

Librarians are also expected to play a key role in promoting the use of open educational resources (OERs) and other free, high-quality resources available online.

     3. Ethical Use of Information

Computer Communication

Librarians to support Information and Media Literacy

The NEP 2020 also emphasizes the importance of librarians as information literacy educators. It encourages them to collaborate with teachers and other educators to teach students how to access, evaluate, and use information effectively. Librarians are expected to play a key role in helping students develop the skills they need to be responsible digital citizens and use information technology safely and ethically.

      4. Best Practices

Finally, the NEP 2020 expects librarians to be proactive and adaptable and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the library and information science field. This may involve continuing education, professional development opportunities, and staying informed about new technologies and best practices in library management.

NEP 01: 

Enjoyable and inspirational books for students at all levels will be developed, including through high-quality translation (technology assisted as needed) in all local and Indian languages, and will be made available extensively in both school and local public libraries.


Librarians believe that they work hard to ensure they curate the best collection of books, print and digital, based on the budgets offered to them. But the question arises what can we librarians do to raise the bar of enjoyment and inspiration? How can we make our read – aloud of picture books lead to critical thinking? How can we build motivation through stories? How can we engage students and use higher-order thinking questions & discussions with our students? How can we engage in collaborative teaching and learning? How can we use visible thinking routines to develop open-minded thinking and a spirit of empathy? Liferarian Association is coming up with different workshops under the label – Are you a NEP-ready Librarian? Please fill out this form if you are interested in joining the coursework for building Literacy

NEP 02 

Public and school libraries will be significantly expanded to build a culture of reading across the country.


  1. Make sure the library is well-stocked with various books that reflect the interests and diversity of the school community. This can include fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, magazines, and more.
  2. Create a welcoming and comfortable space for students to read and study. This might include comfortable seating, plenty of natural light, and quiet areas for individual or small group work.
  3. Encourage students to visit the library regularly by offering regular programs and activities, such as book clubs, writing workshops, or author visits.
  4. Partner with teachers to integrate the library and its resources into the classroom. For example, the librarian could work with teachers to create reading lists or suggest books that tie into the curriculum.
  5. Promote the library and resources to the entire school community through newsletters, social media, and other communication channels.
  6. Make it easy for students to access books and other materials by offering flexible borrowing policies, online resources, and other convenient options.

NEP 03

Digital libraries will also be established. School libraries will be set up – particularly in villages – to serve the community during non-school hours, and book clubs may meet in public/school libraries to further facilitate and promote widespread reading.


  • Host book clubs for different age groups or interest areas, such as a mystery book club or a graphic novel book club.
  • Offer a summer reading program with incentives for students who read a certain number of books over the break.
  • Partner with local bookstores or libraries to host author events or book fairs.
  • Host a “reading marathon” where students, staff, and community members take turns reading aloud from a favorite book or series.
  • Create a “reading buddy” program where older students are paired with younger students to read together and discuss books.
  • Invite community members, such as local writers or business owners, to come and speak about their careers and the role reading has played in their success.
  • Host a “reading challenge” where students can earn prizes for reading a certain number of books in a given time period.
  • Offer a book swap program where students can bring in books they have already read and trade them for new ones.
  • Set up a “reading corner” in a high-traffic area of the school, such as the main office or cafeteria, with comfy chairs and a selection of books for students to browse and borrow.

NEP 04

A National Book Promotion Policy will be formulated, and extensive initiatives will be undertaken to ensure the availability, accessibility, quality, and readership of books across geographies, languages, levels, and genres.


To meet the NEP 04, it is important to revise the library policy to include the following:

  • Increase budget for libraries
  • Introduce a virtual library website (not google slides)
  • Automatize the library collection using OPAC
  • Provide access to the catalog online in the library and outside
  • Curate a collection of print books and ebooks to reinforce 21st-century skills 
  • Open access to resources to ensure the availability of resources
  • Provide a variety of books in different languages
  • Provide different genres for all age groups of the school community
  • Invite volunteers 
  • Yearly professional development to be provided for Librarians (50 hours as recommended by CBSE)

I look forward to your comments or interested in joining the Are you a NEP Ready Librarian Coursework, please email me at, or you may fill out this form. (For more details, check out course 04)

Customized workshops are available for NEP Ready School Librarians email: or 

Assisted by Ai





What is AI?

By General No Comments

You see AI everyday!

Artificial intelligence (AI) is used in many aspects of our daily lives, often without us even realizing it. Here are a few examples of how AI is used in everyday life:

  • Virtual assistants, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, use AI to understand and respond to voice commands.
  • Email spam filters use AI to identify and block unwanted messages.
  • Many social media platforms use AI to personalize the content that users see in their feeds.
  • Uber and Ola use AI to route vehicles and calculate estimated times of arrival.
  • Online retailers use AI to suggest products, that’s AI
  • Many banks and financial institutions use AI to detect and prevent fraud.
  • When you add your query on Google Search bar, it prompts you with recommendations – that is AI
  • Grammarly and Microsoft use AI to predict words, phrases and checks your grammar.
  • When you ask a query on products, railway bookings and others you have a chatbot that is AI
  • Netflix and other video content make recommendations to you, that are governed by AI.
  • Voice recognition on phones uses AI.

What is AI?

AI has entered our lives. So what is AI? AI, or artificial intelligence, is the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and act like humans. These machines can be designed to mimic the way a human would think, learn, and make decisions. Some examples of AI include virtual assistants, such as Siri or Alexa, and self-driving cars. AI is an interdisciplinary field that combines computer science, psychology, philosophy, and many other fields to create intelligent machines.

It is a large language model trained by OpenAI to assist with answering questions and providing information on a wide range of topics. So, let’s just not watch technology pass by without capitalizing on it’s positive uses and use it to problem solve and build creativity.

Can AI replace Google?

As a large language model trained by OpenAI.  It is not able to replace Google or any other search engine. The purpose of Artificial Intelligence models is to assist with answering questions and providing information on a wide range of topics. It does not have the ability to browse the internet or index webpages like a search engine does. It is a tool that can be used to help with research and learning, but it is not a replacement for a search engine.

Are all answers provided by Open AI accurate?

As a large language model trained by OpenAI, it is designed to provide accurate and reliable information on various topics. However, it is not able to provide the most up-to-date information because the data has a fixed cutoff point. In addition, it is not able to verify the accuracy of the information it provides because it does not have the ability to browse the internet or access new information. It is always a good idea to double-check the information it provides from many reliable sources.

Try this out by signing up with:

Please note – this blogpost was created with the help of ChatopenAI in less than 10 minutes.

How can Librarians use AI?

Librarians can use it to

  • Generate ideas
  • Brainstorm topics
  • Provide a quick overview of a topic to our patrons
  • Find a way to simplify complex concepts and explain them in simple ways.

These images were created in less than 5 minutes on DALL-E

What is Professional Development? Why is it Important?

By General No Comments

1 Day Liferarian Workshops – 2022

Register NOW for the Liferarian Conference 2022

Workshops for Librarians, Technology Teachers,

Multilanguage Teachers (ESL & Classroom Teachers) & IBO Core Teachers.

Theme: Collaboration – Key to Student Success
Day, Date & Time: Saturday, 3rd December 2022 – 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM IST
Location: American School of Bombay, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai

List of Speakers for the Library and Technology Strand

List of Speakers for the IB Core Strand – TOK, Extended Essay and CAS

List of Speakers for ESL and Language Teachers.

No one is excellent at their jobs or professions; we are all evolving. When you look at a successful librarian or teacher, this is because they have extensively been learning and working continuously towards building their skills or learning for a long time and embodying the principle of lifelong learning.

The professional world is competitive, and job profile needs are changing. Therefore continuous learning and professional development are essential for growth and success in your career goal. Technology and best practices are evolving and, therefore, crucial for both new and experienced librarians or teachers.

Technologies, best practices, and pedagogies are evolving and progressing in every industry, making it crucial for new and experienced professionals to continue developing their skills and honing their knowledge. Librarians have evolved into Information and Media Specialists, Media Specialists, Library Specialists, iCommons Specialists, Information & Technology Specialists, and many other new titles.

Primary School Librarians have evolved from simple read-aloud to interactive read-aloud strategies for deeper comprehension while creating a love for reading. Librarians are now learning, teaching & using technology tools and teaching information and media literacy skills.

In my early days as an assistant librarian, I shadowed two librarians at my school: an elementary school librarian and, later, the secondary school librarian. They both taught me lots of practical approaches to support my job. Shadowing experts or other professionals help you grow, learn practical strategies, and understand the ‘why’ of things around you. Collaboration is the key to learning and growing too.

What is the purpose of professional development?

– It helps you gain, learn and apply new knowledge and skills.
– Provides career growth and builds new mentors.
– It keeps you relevant since skills and expertise are evolving.
– Builds confidence in current practices, thereby increasing the capacity of being hireable.

Some of the opportunities for professional development are:

  • Attending a professional conference.
  • Participating in workshops.
  • Engaging in hands-on workshops.
  • Micro-learning in a particular field like google education.
  • Shadow a colleague or find a coach.
  • Reading a professional book or topic of your interest in learning.

Conferences are great opportunities to learn from experts in your field, network with like-minded professionals, and build your credibility, the art and craft of your profession. The purpose of conferences is to bring together professionals with specific expertise to discuss problems and offer solutions.

Register NOW! And we will see you there!

Library Curriculum: Do Librarians Need a Curriculum?

By Librarian's Role, Library curriculum No Comments

Education boards in India:

Every education institute has a curriculum to help students learn and succeed. Each school’s curriculum is defined by the education board the school adopts. In India, we have CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and the State Board, which are often governed by each state. Different states in India have other curricula. The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is similar to GCSE, recognized in the United Kingdom. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) offers four high-quality international education programmes.

Why is a school curriculum meaningful?

The school curriculum helps define the values, expectations, skills, and content.
– Provides standards
– Describes the syllabus for each grade
– Defines skills and content
– Provides a framework for assessments.

This school curriculum also connects the parents, students and the school.

Library curriculum? Is it necessary?

One would argue that students come to the library each week. Do we need a curriculum? Do we need assessments? Do we need syllabi?

Most schools have one or two librarians for the whole school or each section, so it is impossible to assess each student. However, a librarian might ask, are curriculums only related to assessments?

If librarians do not assess, do librarians still need a curriculum?

I think a library curriculum is essential to help the librarians define what needs to be taught and what skills, attitudes, or dispositions the librarian would like to support in the child’s learning journey.

Often the librarian role is defined as an educator who supports or builds a reading culture. The librarian might ask: How do I create a culture of reading, information & media literacy to support teachers and parents? How can I design my library lessons to meet the school’s needs?

The answers to these questions might differ for each school’s librarians. However, an overview of supporting language, reading culture, and information & media literacy skills is the same for all school boards.

Example 1
For a librarian in an IB school, collaboration is a crucial element. Librarians learn the curriculum, purchase resources to support the themes, and, through collaboration, use books and technology tools to help support content knowledge or learner profiles or conduct lessons to reinforce the approaches to learning, including research skills.

Example 2
Suppose the librarian is from a CBSE board. Librarians purchase books, manage library resources, conduct lessons to build a reading culture as well as support students in becoming proficient in navigating the information & media world. How is this going to be accomplished if they do not create a roadmap to build each skill at different standards or classes? The classroom teachers have a sequential progressive outline for each grade level; shouldn’t the librarian have a library roadmap for skills and dispositions?

Example 3
The Librarian in an IGCSE is often the only person who manages the book purchase, library resources, read-aloud sessions, and provides information and literacy skills to each grade level. How will they conduct lessons to create a deep impact and support learning if they do not have guidelines or a plan?

Is a Library Curriculum required?

At the beginning of my career as a librarian, I knew my role was managing resources and holding library classes. I randomly selected books that appealed to me and read them aloud to the children—different books for grades 1, 2, 3 and others. Sometimes, I would re-read the book to the other grade students and change some questions or even ask the same questions to another group of students. I thought I was doing my best, working hard and doing the right thing. I did not realize these random acts of reading were helpful to some degree, students enjoyed the stories, and there was an interest in supporting a reading culture.

Later, I learned the art of creating a library curriculum. Then, I realized why it was important to know why I was reading a picture book. When I understood the purpose of reading each story, I knew the purpose of including comprehension, speaking and listening targets. I knew why I was doing a poetry unit and how much time I would spend on each kind of poetry. I knew the genres I  wanted to introduce to the students, and they were in sync with what was taught in class. When students were doing projects, I could teach the information and media literacy skills on time. This had an impact on students learning a skill when they needed it most. When you are hungry and given a meal, you will enjoy it, and it will nourish your body and mind. Similarly, library lessons become meaningful, purposeful, and conducted on time when a librarian has a curriculum. The library curriculum or scope provides the librarians’ role with direction and structure.

The library curriculum is not developed overnight. It requires time, effort, and support from other librarian colleagues, partners and your curriculum coordinator or your supervisor. Creating a library curriculum becomes a roadmap for the librarian. It documents all the work that the librarian is doing systematically.

Begin, with your library mission, identify skills that are overarching and include all subject matter in the curriculum. And, then design a curriculum for grade 1 and think about what your grade 10 or 12 students should be able to accomplish before they leave school. Use the Ubd- backward design model to achieve your curriculum goals. There are thousands of resources available online. Modify them to meet the needs of your students, and you will feel accomplished. It will become the best professional development for the year.

Do we value comic books? Do we value graphic novels? Are they useful?

By Collection Development, comic books, Reading and Writing No Comments

By Airi Ozaki

A parent comes up to me in the library and says, “Please help my child read. He/she is only reading comic books. I want you to make him/her read real books.” 

Almost all librarians have faced this situation. Let’s look at graphic novels/comics as a form of literature. And you know, that every library must have comic books and graphic novels to satiate the needs of our community.

Fundamental differences between comic books and graphic novels:


  • Comics are single stories in a series.
  • Comics come in a periodical format.
  • Comics have advertisements (not all).
  • Comics may have an ISSN.

Graphic novels:

  • A graphic novel is a long story with no series (generally).
  • A graphic novel comes in a book format.
  • A graphic novel has an ISBN.

Many universities have described comic/graphic stories as “hybrid literature’. These comic books receive more respect when used as a critical appreciation of artform, play of words, symbolism, design, structure, and plot lines.

Why are comic books valuable?

By Airi Ozaki

Comic/graphic stories have the elements of a story, and through this format, children can learn the different story elements of a protagonist, antagonist, settings, and plot. From early readers to learning a second language, developing fluency in a language, dyslexia individuals and sophisticated readers and illustrators can benefit from comic books and graphic novels. Most popular ones internationally are the Marvel comics, Japanese Manga (for all ages), and the DC comics

Some benefits of comic books/graphic novels

  • Struggling readers develop confidence and fluency with this format.
  • Children with autism can identify emotions through the art and images in a comic books.
  • Learning to infer, question, and identify evidence based on their reasoning through text and images can help build literacy.
  • Children begin to read meaning between the lines and figure out what the narrator describes.
  • Allows students to develop speaking skills and learn new vocabulary.

Practically speaking, we have all grown up with comic books, which have proven helpful in every child’s life. It quenches the child’s dreams, aspirations, emotional, social, fantastical, or heroic needs. Thus, making it meaningful and very valuable.

Genres are available in Comic Books/Graphic novels.

They range from historical fiction, biographies, mythologies, fables, and folklore, thus providing children explore and learn the different elements of genres through this kind of literature.

ACK – under CC0

Reading and writing go hand in hand. They are like daal and rice. One is not complete without the other. Writing in comic style allows students to express themselves in shorter and quicker ways. Learning about comic strips helps children learn a new form of writing. 

  1. Authors and illustrators use text boxes with words, colors, textures, and frames to tell their stories.
  2. They use speech balloons and sound effects to narrate their action in the story.
  3. Motion lines and character expressions are a part of the narration to tell their story. 

You can use these tools to provide students to create comic books online and a platform to share their lives.

What are Webcomics?

Young adults and adults have found their passion in Webcomics.

What are webcomics? “Webcomics (also known as online comics or Internet comics) are comics published on a website or mobile app. While many are published exclusively on the web, others are also published in magazines, newspapers, or comic books.” (Wikipedia)

This format has become very popular with the country’s young generation. It usually highlights politics, social awareness, and feminism, and they spread their ideas, words, and art through social media. Every country has its popular webcomics. 

Popular Webcomics in India

Striptease mag includes comics, graphic novels, and everything akin to it. There are some great reviews and recommendations for Indian graphic novels.

Brown Paper Bag: Satire that appeals to all. It will make you giggle at each chapter. Sailesh, aka Saigo, a 20-year-old Bangalorean, blends humor with everyday life. Anecdotes include how a left-handed person feels in India and even using profanities in front of parents. Find it on Facebook here

UrbanLore is by Kaveri Gopalakrishnan, and Aarthi Parthasarathy reflects the urban lifestyle. Humorous stories about women’s restrictions and feminism, how life works for women in India. You can find them on Facebook here

Sanitary Panels has simple artwork but makes up for it with giggle-worthy humour. The series is great for quick reads, topics on gender roles, personal life, and social interactions.

Green Humour is a collection of 250 stories about wildlife, animals, and birds. The focus is on wildlife and nature with a sense of humour. You can find them on Facebook here.

Strippy is another fun online comic strip.

All comic books can be purchased at

Banning Books & Reconsideration Policy

By Collection Development, General, Library Policy, Professional Learning No Comments

Here is my story: 

Fantasy Fairy Tales Child Girl Forest House Queen

A long time ago, when I was a Primary School Librarian, a parent came up to me in the Library and asked me to take off all the fairy tale stories from our primary collection. She remarked that the fairy tales were full of violence and were inappropriate for children. Many fairy tales have evil parents who send their children away, ugly beasts that kidnap children and mistreat them. She said, “These stories place parents in poor light, especially the story of Cinderella, where the stepmother is evil.” She questioned me, “do you think all stepmothers are evil? Is the goal of Cinderella to only marry the Prince and live happily ever after?”

In Hansel and Gretel, the father asks the children to leave their home? The children are stranded in the forest with an evil witch who wants to boil the children? What about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? It belittles the role of parents. These are just a few examples from 100s of examples that we encounter. 

What do Librarians do for building a collection?

A dynamic librarian will provide a variety of books that include fairytales, becoming of age stories like Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, Talking Of Muskaan by Himanjali Sankar, Slightly Burnt by Payal Dhar, Daddy Come Lately by Rupa Gulab, Asmara’s Summer by Andaleeb Wajid are just a few examples. Check out other additional titles.

As librarians, we include picture books with unconventional stories like  The Tree Boy by Srividhya Venkat, Nayantara Surendranath, Puu by CG Salamander, Samidha Gunjal, Sadiq Wants to Stitch by Mamta Nainy, Niloufer Wadia Ritu weds Chandni by Ameya Narvankar and more titles. 

Discussing sensitive topics that deal with gender and the caste system is very complex. However, we must find ways to address them with an open mind without sharing our strong opinions by providing a platform for discussion, where there is respect, kindness, and acceptance of different views and voices. Stories like these will give healthy discussions while igniting empathy. Turning the Pot, Tilling the Land: Dignity of Labour in Our Times, Bhimayana: Experiences of Untouchability, and here is another list of nonfiction for older students in secondary school.

Evolving School and Growing Libraries

If schools need to transform, the library collection must evolve and create a collection of print and digital resources that provide different perspectives that include historical and current ideas.

Students are curious. Children want to read books that reflect different communities, lifestyles, and perspectives. The library collection provides opportunities to learn new things. As librarians, we want to bring in a unique collection of books stories that provide perspectives and courage to change and evolve.

Evolving Society and Libraries

As our society evolves, we as librarians want to rise above hypocrisy and double standards. Librarians want to grow and provide a progressive collection of resources to meet the students’ changing needs. What can librarians do to ensure they are progressive and meet the needs of the students while supporting the school and parent community.

Our modern children want to learn about present-day problems, ways of life about gay rights, same-sex marriages, gender equality, and the treatment of privileged versus the unprivileged classes. Schools and libraries want to introduce new literature. However, some parents who find these topics uncomfortable and challenging resist these stories. 

What can Librarians do?

Some of the considerations to evolve as a progressive librarian, we must

  1. Learn and read the school’s school vision, mission, and culture.
  2. Understand the national textbooks. Use the Preamble of the constitution embedded in the textbook to develop your school’s collection to build an inclusive collection.
  3. Identify the curriculum of your school.
  4. Create a selection policy that says that the collection development meets the school policy’s needs and the progressive expectations of a global community.
  5. Create a reconsideration policy for individuals who want to restrict books in the Library

What is the Reconsideration Policy for withdrawing books and Why?

A reconsideration policy is created to ensure that there is transparency in the process of banning or stopping the circulation of books to a particular class or for circulation. 

Librarians are often confronted by community members, either parents or teachers, to ban or withdraw books from their class or the school library. Creating a reconsideration policy for removing books from the collection will allow an open discussion to hear the community member’s voices and allow a democratic process of including books or withdrawing the books from the Library.

The librarian and the curriculum coordinator can draft a document called the reconsideration policy procedure to allow members of the community to voice their opinion of individuals who desire to withdraw or ban particular titles from the collection or stop the circulation of books.

Taking the reconsideration in a very optimistic view, the librarian must keep the larger picture in mind because India is a secular democratic country. Most education system promotes open-mindedness, critical thinking, and cultural competency. It is imperative to create a tolerant mindset if views and opinions do not match your own. Each individual is entitled to their perspective. 

Here are details in Creating a challenge/reconsideration of resources for withdrawal.

Metaliteracy & Power of Communication for Librarians

By General, Librarian's Role, Media Literacy & Information Literacy, Metaliteracy No Comments

Librarians, books, reading, new technology tools, digital literacy, and communication are components in the repertoire of a dynamic evolving role of Librarians. And, we all know that literacy is not only reading, writing, information gathering & evaluating but becoming and supporting students into becoming Metaliterate.


What is Metaliteracy?

Metaliteracy has multiple layers. The first layer for Metaliteracy librarians is to start from Transliteracy. According to Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners By Thomas P. Mackey, Trudi E. Jacobson says, Transliteracy emerged outside of the Librarians role where teaching and helping students create knowledge by deciphering from text to physical atlases to Google maps, interactive eBooks, video tutorials, and various Tedx and other social channels based on interests and learning experiences. We consume multimodal literacy, including media literacy, visual literacy, information literacy, & multicultural literacy.

In my opinion, Transliteracy falls directly in the purview of the librarians. It is rethinking our role when creating library plans/curricula. And it might seem practical to include Transliteracy rather than merely – information or media or other literacies since it falls into the heart of the librarians’ domain.

Understanding Transliteracy

Understanding transliteracy helps librarians open up their library curriculum framework and not bottle them into information, technology, or the Literacy Strand. According to T. Ipri, Transliteracy allows librarians and teachers to be fluid and apply a unified approach to literacy rather than focusing on technology tools.

Communications a critical aspect of Transliteracy

Adopting Transliteracy as the basis for learning allows librarians to design instructions where students become the owners, authors, or media creators of their original work. They interact with all forms of modalities: print to all forms of social network platforms to receive information.

Independent Projects

Several years, ago keeping this in mind, the Technology Coach and I embarked on this Independent Project with Elementary School students, giving them the space and time to navigate all forms of sources to arrive at their product/learning. Through these classes, mini-lessons on information searches, identifying credible resources, navigating different kinds of media: videos, images, infographics, and giving students the space and opportunity to create or learn a new skill. After several months, some students made websites, videos, comic books, eBooks, print books, infographics, and even Google tours and pamphlets based on their interests that varied from space, tourism, dolls, games, technology tools, coding, and more. In my opinion, the students learned at their own pace, driven by their interests. According to Dr. Renzulli’s Total Talent Development Program, when a child above average intelligence is allowed to use their creativity with a dedicated task accomplishment goal, this direction leads to Giftedness.

Choice Programs

Presently, a similar program called the ‘Choice Program’ is offered in middle school. Students explore their interests in secondary school, and as a librarian, I have had this opportunity to coach and support these mini-projects at school. This is an opportunity where the librarian becomes a part of the teaching faculty to help Metaliteracy.

After School Programs

I often use the after-school program opportunity to learn and hone new skills while giving opportunities to students to practice skills that lead to metaliteracy. Opportunities in photography, designing, and publication areas are paths where students have their voice and choice. Example the eNewspaper Club for Elementary, Middle, and High schools. Students are editors, and designers are part of every activity, and the librarian is the coach/facilitator to support the project.

Liferarian Conference 2021 Learning

I recently attended the Liferarian Conference 2021; the keynote speaker spoke about the importance of deciphering data and analyzing data by asking the 5W at all levels of data scrutiny. Tableau provides resources for teachers and students to learn about data. Understanding variables & field types in data, exploring aggregations, distributions, and learning how to examine the relationships within the data closely. This, I believe, will help us ‘up our game.’

Indeed, the Librarians’ role is evolving and moving in different directions, encompassing both the physical and the digital spheres. Therefore, as I share this post, I use this opportunity to continue learning and share my learning while honing my writing skills.

Will Librarians Continue to Exist in 2030?

By Librarian's Role, Professional Development 2 Comments

Is the library profession going to be obsolete? Are librarians a dying breed? These questions have often been asked of me. Recently, I received a youtube video saying that librarianship is one of the dying careers and is not worth pursuing as a career. As I began to reflect on this, it got me thinking that if we describe a librarian role to be one, who hushes the students, controls the library space and has few or no visitors, is a room full of dusty books, all books locked in a cupboard with NO open access. Stamping books and manually using the card catalogue. Sure, such librarians will fail to exist, and definitely, there is no place for such librarians in the 21st century.

What kind of Librarians will exist now and in the future?

The kind of librarians that will exist will be multi-taskers, who are ready to evolve and modify their role to meet the school community’s needs. The librarian will look for opportunities to learn, grow and adapt to the changing needs of the school community. Schools will continue to have libraries because books form the basis of learning, no matter how many eBooks we have and the advancement in technology. Librarians will exist. Let’s analyze and look at what librarians do?

What do librarians do?

Librarians are specialists and specialize in these capacities.

  1. They purchase the best books that match the curriculum.
  2. They recommend databases to support student learning.
  3. They systematically maintain the collection of books called the library.
  4. They create, curate & maintain an eLibrary.
  5. They read voraciously.
  6. They help you identify stories that can support teachers by sharing titles and curating lists of relevant information and books that will help them successfully teach students.
  7. They can find books or information by digging into the web.
  8. They read aloud stories to children and fill their hearts and souls.
  9. They nurture readers with kindness and compassion; they are non-judgemental.
  10. They create an atmosphere in the library where reading and learning is pursued equitably and with good spirit.
  11. Librarians love technology; they will help you find credible information, teach you to cite it and support you in your research as a guide.
  12. They learn new technology tools to ensure they can participate and support students in creating media, infographics, eBooks, eMagazines, and podcasts to support student learning.

These librarians will exist and will continue to be in demand. In my opinion, being a librarian is one of the best roles in a school. You get to collaborate and co-teach with teachers, learn new skills, teach and learn with students, reach out to the parent community and finally nurture a learning atmosphere for all. 

Why Change and Adapt?

In dynamic education organizations, every educator evolves using new pedagogical practices adapting and adopting new roles and responsibilities. Educators like teachers are often seen in multiple positions, supervisors, running school activities and/or taking on administrative roles. Similarly, librarians adapt and change to the school community’s needs, adopting new practices through professional development. Some librarians have the role of a specialist with a packed class schedule, while other librarians have a flexible schedule allowing them to take on other teaching duties in the school. As a librarian, if we adapt and change to meet the school’s needs, what is wrong? I wonder why librarians shy away from accepting and taking on new roles? Socrates said the secret of change is not fighting the old but building the new. And, we all know that change is inevitable. To meet the school’s needs, why not change, adapt and learn new skills to stay current and relevant when many talk about the librarian’s role as a dying breed. Why NOT?

What new roles are librarians adopting?

Schools have different priorities and different styles of functioning. Looking around the librarian tribe, I have found that many librarians have adopted additional roles & responsibilities based on their areas of interest and skill set. They have diversified their positions and have not given up their primary functional role as a librarian.

Some of the roles librarians have adopted into their librarianship are as follows:

  • Leading and supporting social events at their school.
  • Teaching English as a second language.
  • Supporting students with learning difficulties or partnering with the special education team.
  • Participating in community services programs.
  • Adding an extra hand in administration duties in the school.
  • Building or supporting programs related to Unesco’s sustainable goals.
  • Teaming up with the technology team to deliver digital literacy programs.
  • Teaming with enrichment programs.
  • Partnering with the school’s social media team to share students successes.
  • Librarians are working as team members with literacy coaches or reading specialists to deepen literacy skills.
  • Librarians are also Extended Essay Coordinators.
  • Librarians are teachers of different subjects: Theory of Knowledge, Language teachers and even Indian Studies.

This Forbes article made me think of my role as a jack of all trades and master of none, but librarians are masters and specialists in their library profession. Being a jack of other trades has helped me discover new strengths, nurtured my curious mind, learned new subjects, and built a unique skill set.

How do you adopt new roles?

So, how does a librarian go about adopting other roles? Firstly, I would build up courage and reach out to the supervisor with a growth mindset and a strong desire and interest in learning and growing. As you begin to explore, you will either fall in love with the new work or not; if not, then it’s time to try another area of interest. Nudge yourself to grow, read and learn. 

99% of the time, it is fear of not trying that pulls one down. We often hear advice like – if you never try, you will never know. So, finally, LEAP and the NET will appear.