Tuesday November 19, 2019
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One Up Library Brings Children Closer To Books

Bringing children back to books, the One Up way

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One Up Library in Vasant Vihar. IANS
One Up Library in Vasant Vihar promoting reading habits among children. IANS

With walls painted pearl white and bright mats covering the floor, it looks like a fancy showroom in an upmarket neighbourhood. But don’t get mistaken — it’s a library. And that too for children.

The One Up library in Vasant Vihar is like an oasis in the digital desert with 1-14 years old as members. It’s a rarity to find a neighbourhood library as today’s children are mostly engaged in online passions, having little time for reading books.

Dalbir Kaur, founder of One Up, believes in the old school way of making children aware. Started in Amritsar in 2011 as the Golden City’s first modern library, One Up travelled to Delhi in 2017.

Dalbir believes the 21st-century children need spaces beyond schools that specifically focus on critical reading and thinking; promoting curiosity, collaboration & conversations, and community-building.

“The conventional libraries could not stand the effect of time, especially when everything is available online. But it’s important that children visit libraries to explore literature, develop their reading tastes,” she told IANS.

Dalbir said to draw teenagers towards books and promote less usage of technology, a revolutionary change was required in the way libraries looked and felt. She brought the concept of active reading, where children are guided by trained helpers who themselves read a lot.

“It’s important to have attractive interiors with an active librarian. The librarian or the attendants must be active and knowledgeable about the books and should be avid readers themselves,” Dalbir said.

Bringing children back to books
Motivating children to read books and cultivating reading habits amongst children in One Up library. Pixabay

Since the readers are children, Dalbir herself goes through every book that is to be added to the library to remove all the chances of inappropriate content. Her team also organises weekly activities, like ‘read-out-loud’, ‘draw what you read’, interaction with authors and quizzes after a reader finishes his/her book. All of this is conducted on the first floor of the building, which is now full of drawings and charts created by readers as part of their activity.

The initiative has gained popularity as the library now has over 200 children as members and the number is rising every day. Some members even come from Noida and Gurugram to read books — just for an hour or two.

The positive changes have also begun to flow as Dalbir has been approached by several educational institutions to curate their libraries and train their teachers. By now she has helped over 20 schools to curate their libraries and train librarians.

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Dalbir does not charge anything from a school for curating a library. She holds workshops for teachers and librarians, advice on steps to innovate and initiating non-readers.

She has now launched an award, which will attract nationwide entries, for excellence in best practices in a nurturing learning environment. Entries could be sent till September 5. (IANS)

Next Story

Study Says, Early Signs of Diabetes Can be Observed in Children

The study tracked over 4,000 participants of the Children of the 90s study, a birth cohort established in Bristol in the early 1990s

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Diabetes
The research was conducted among young healthy people who were generally free of type 2 Diabetes and other chronic diseases to see how early in life the effects of diabetes susceptibility become visible. Pixabay

Researchers have found that early signs of adulthood type 2 Diabetes can be seen in children as young as 8 years old.

Type 2 diabetes is most often diagnosed in middle age or later, with its symptoms slowly developing over many years.

“It’s remarkable that we can see signs of adult diabetes in the blood from such a young age, this is about 50 years before it’s commonly diagnosed.

“This is not a clinical study; nearly all participants were free of diabetes and most will not go on to develop it. This is about liability to disease and how genetics can tell us something about how the disease develops,” said study researcher Joshua Bell from the University of Bristol in the UK.

The research was conducted among young healthy people who were generally free of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases to see how early in life the effects of diabetes susceptibility become visible.

The study tracked over 4,000 participants of the Children of the 90s study, a birth cohort established in Bristol in the early 1990s.

The researchers combined genetics with an approach called ‘metabolomics’, which involves measuring many small molecules in a blood sample to try and identify patterns that are unique to type 2 diabetes.

According to the findings, the research team analysed 162 pieces of genetic information and combined this with 200 measures of many small molecules in a blood sample, known as metabolics, to identify signs of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes
Researchers have found that early signs of adulthood type 2 Diabetes can be seen in children as young as 8 years old. Pixabay

Data was taken once in childhood — at 8 years old, twice in adolescence aged 16 and 18 years and once in young adulthood aged 25 years.

They found levels of HDL cholesterol were reduced at age 8, while inflammatory glycoprotein acetyls and amino acids were elevated in 16 and 18 year old teenagers.

These metabolic features could be targeted to prevent young people from going on to develop type 2 diabetes in the future, the researchers said.

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The findings were presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Barcelona. (IANS)