This term I’m taking Children Litureture and I loved the course very much. Last Tuesday, I went to a children library and I made an interview with them. Next week, I am going to one other children library and because I was the only one who was studying architecture in my class, my lecturer wanted me to analys the library in architectural view. I’ll be taking lots of photographs. But till next week, I wanted to share my reflection paper of Ali Dayı Library.
THE VISIT TO ALİ DAYI CHILDREN LIBRARY
Because of the technological improvements, today the need of going to a library has declined. This is actually what I think, because the internet ease our job to find any kind of documentation. Even it eases the searching process, I still prefer going to a library and looking inside the books, and feeling it. Last year, I’ve been to National Library of Turkey. I was new to Ankara, therefore I had to apply for membership card. That took a lot of my time, because interestingly there was lots of people coming to the library. Then I went upstairs and started searching for books from the archive they had. I gave the information of the books I wanted to the officer and she brought my books. That’s how all happened. People were working, some were reading books and also there were people like me who was searching for the right book. There was no big noise, but it was too crowded. National Library of Turkey is the biggest library I’ve been to. When I was having education in Canada, my school had a well-supported children library. I remember that I was taking 3 books to home at weekends. I loved there, because I was able to find any kind of book, magazine and dvds, and also the library attendant was so kind. She was always smiling and she was very happy. From my earlier childhood, my parents always thought me that I must be very quiet, so I wouldn’t interrupt anyone. Libraries are for searching information, because there are lots of different materials which we can use. Because libraries are very quiet, it is also suitable for people to study there.
I’ve never been to children’s library in Turkey, so I had a question: will the library be similar to my school library in Canada? I was expecting a warm space special for children. The design is also another important point, it should be attractive and also it should be suitable for a child’s body proportion. So, the library should be comfortable for them. We shouldn’t expect a chair for big people. For instance, the table should be low. I thought that the library would have lots of books and magazines for children. The library will be well-supported. The context of the documents was another consideration. The context of the readings should refer to children and, also it should be valuable. The books should be full of information which they can make use of and also the attitude of the staff was important for me, because the way they act will affect children’s idea about a library. A child who visits a library for the first time, will like the library and come back again or won’t like it and hate books. We wouldn’t want our children to be disinterested towards books. I had lots of question that needed an answer and I had an opportunity to talk to a staff named as Serkan Melemen. I was expecting warm and kind people. They should treat everyone nice and they should be well-knowledged. I wanted them to inform me and answer my questions clearly.
This trip was excellent. Most did fit to my expectation. I was expecting a warm atmosphere and well-designed rooms, and I saw that there were lots of figures, such as flowers and butterflies, helped to create a warm place. There were also big pencils placed on the rails of the balcony. Also, in the garden there were lots of greens. The furniture’s’ size wasn’t interrupting a child’s freedom. They were all suitable for children’ proportion. The library was also very clean. You had to put on a plastic bag which covers your shoes. While I was analysing the library, I saw lots of books, magazines and also technological devices such as computers and video game players. Also, according to the conversation I had with Mr. Serkan, he told me that the library contained 15.000 books and each was analysed deeply before brought to the library. I had doubts about the technological devices. Because this is a library and a library aims children to read more and love books, maybe having devices like those will disrupt their attention towards books. Maybe it’s not a good idea to have computers. I also looked through the books they had, and I think the books were good. They had rich context. I remember that one of the books I looked through had quote such as “Önemli olan dinç ve sağlıklı kalkmaktır. Bunun için gerekirse aç bile yatılır.” And also it contained definition of idioms. There were also books which had lots of colors and images. Those were for smaller aged children. The images catched my attention too. Analyses of the context show that some of the books were giving moral information and some had more scientific information, but in a way that a young child will understand, in a simpler way. The staff was nice. They gave me time to ask them questions and they were very clear. They answered all of the questions I asked, and they even informed me more than I was expecting. They were helpful. They let me experience the library and take images, and even there would be children in the library in an hour, they let me examine the books. I think they like kids a lot, because they told me that they give attention to each of the child individually.
Before the trip, I actually didn’t know that there was libraries special for children and after I learned the trip, I also made a small research. The number of children library is very low in our country. I think we should have more libraries to encourage children to reading more. Reading habit is also a problem I guess. Not all of us read books frequently and this habit should be exposed to children in their early ages. I don’t like reading books a lot but from now on I will try harder reading books. If I will have children in the future, I will try to be a role model for them and I will bring them to the libraries, so they will see their peers reading books too. I guess, they will enjoy reading books with their peers even more.
The staff was very warm and nice. They had a big smile and they were welcoming. They introduced themselves as well as I did. They didn’t do anything wrong, in fact they helped me a lot. They gave lots of information about the library and what they do, how they treat children, what children do there and their parents as well. Indeed, I learned that there were seminars for parents and there was also a library for parents, a small section. When I was talking with Mr. Serkan, we sat down and drink tea. They were also very hospitable, not only because I was guest but they were treating every member of the library very nice. I learnt that they were also giving effort on children. They were looking after them, and I think they are wholehearted people, because children keep coming to visit the library. Perhaps they wouldn’t, if they didn’t enjoy their time.
There are different methods to encourage children to reading and a visit to a library is the best way, this is what I think. The habit of reading is something we all should have and most importantly children must gain it through their development age to make it permanent. Also, borrowing a book from a library will help the children to learn how to use an object which one other can use too. This will encourage them to learn sharing.
As I said before, when I have children, I will take them to a library. They also can read book at home because I will be a model for them to gain this habit, but if they see their peers, it would be more effective. They will found what their friends do interesting and they will do the same thing. I have a sister, and I told what I experienced there. She was also surprised when she learned that there was libraries for children. I guess one of us also is informed. This will pass to other people too. Mr. Serkan is a role model for me too. His attıtude towards kids was very surprising. I will be very kind to my children and I will take care of them, so they will be more successful in their live. Because books have a lot to teach them.