Odisha Plus Bureau

A Bus Library by Bakul Foundation was inaugurated at Kalabhoomi today. The stationery library in the parking lot at the Crafts Museumhas been crafted out of an old bus donated by OSRTC and is therefore, a new exhibit at the Museum as well. This Library has been set up by Bakul Foundation in partnership with the Department of Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts and SIDAC in an old bus donated by Odisha State Road Transport Corporation, OSRTC.

The Library was inaugurated by Amar Patnaik, MP Rajya Sabha, Ms Subha Sharma, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Department of Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts,Mr Upendra Tripathy (IAS Rtd.), Chairperson OAVS, Prof DP Pattnaik, Eminent Educationist, Mr Sisir Kumar Ratha, Member Secretary SIDAC, Mr Shyamabhakta Mishra, Director Handicrafts, Sujit Mahapatra, Founder of Bakul Foundation.

The Library has books for children and adults though the focus of the library is on children. Readers can read inside the Bus or in the cool natural environs outside the bus. There will be regular sessions on storytelling and craft workshops at the library as well.

It was decided that the public can utilise the resources of the library better if the bus was outside the museum thus foregoing the regular entry for museum visitors. This would allow the Library to have flexible hours as per the need of the users. OSRTC donated a bus, and Bakul mobilized individuals to contribute for the transformation of the bus into an attractive library.

The seats were removed and book racks were created on one side including the baggage rack on the top. On the other side, a long bench was created for readers to sit. Children can sit on the mats on the floor as well. The row of seats at the back of the bus has been retained to keep the feel of the bus. Similarly, the driver’s chair and steering wheel has been retained as a fun selfie point for the readers.

The outside is attractively designed using motifs from pattachitra and other traditional crafts of Odisha. There is a beautiful boita, a metaphor for stories traveling across seas, which has its sails looking like a book. At the back, one gets to see the Nabagunjara reading a book as well.

Smart city Bhubaneswar has seen innovative ways of taking books to public spaces including a library in a public park (Forest Park), at a shopping centre (EkamraHaat), at a Café (Café 16 Satyanagar) and at a Museum now. The idea is to have books within easy access wherever people go, so that they may feel like picking up a book and get into a journey of reading.