A community library in Batu Ferringhi in Penang aims to provide a safe space for its visitors to seek knowledge, reduce information asymmetry for the less privileged and promote learning to help readers' open their minds to diverse perspectives.
The Batu Ferringhi Community Library, established over a month ago, is believed to be the only library that is easily accessible for the locals at George Town’s prime beach destination.
Its founder Laura Joseph, 53, said there were a few hurdles in getting the library set up and running, and thanked the local community for working hand in hand to see it through.
"We started the process of getting this place running in April and managed to launch it over a month ago. The community contributed in raising the funds, whereby in three days, we garnered over RM9,000 in funds.
"Our aspiration is to create a safe haven for the community, especially the kids, so that they can have beneficial activities that can help them develop their minds and soft skills ,while also keeping them out of trouble," she said.
Joseph, an English tutor, said the library now has over 5,000 books of various genres ,as well as children DVDs, which were all donated by the Batu Ferringhi community.
Currently, she said, the library is only operating on weekends where visitors can join in on the free activities it had planned, such as storytelling sessions, art class for young adults and senior citizens and robotic workshop for kids.
She hopes to open the library daily once they managed to secure more funding, as well as more volunteers to help execute the activities.
Joseph said she also hoped to be able to collaborate with the Penang State Library and learn how to properly catalogue their books so that visitors can also start borrowing them.
"Our biggest dream is to see a library at every township, no matter big or small. A library should not be defined as a quiet corner for books and bookworms.
"In other parts of the world, libraries have slowly evolved into a community centre and that is what we aspire to be," she added. - Bernama