November 29, 2012
I have visited READ Global centers in India, the center in Geejgarh village in the state of Rajasthan; another one in Dwarka, Kakrola village in Delhi, and most recently the newly inaugurated Shahbad Mohammadpur Model Center in also in Delhi. The work READ Global does is inspiring and meaningful but most importantly, it's amazingly impactful. READ centers in India are community-based and owned projects that are born from the community members' needs but also from their desire to live better lives and to be able to have a safe and inviting place where they can access opportunities that will help them tackle different development issues. READ centers are active, dynamic, lively places where women can be receive training and develop marketable skills (computer or sewing skills or attend beauty school classes, for example) as well as women's empowerment workshops; all the while their children attend the early education section and the library at the center. I see the READ centers as multiple-service centers where community members can come together to use information resources, enjoy recreational activities, learn about issues that are relevant to them, and feel at home. When I think of public libraries and the role they play in developing and empowering their communities, the READ model and its centers are models worth replicating.
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