This week we bring you some uplifting stories about people who are committed to transforming communities, cultures and spaces around reading. For starters, have a look at this piece in The Week about Yashodha D. Shenoy, a seventh-grade student who has opened her own free library in Kochi. Yadhodha believes that libraries should be free and accessible to all. Click here to read about how her love for books, and her family’s steadfast support have helped this young girl realise her vision.

Here’s some more girl power for you: This lovely piece of travel writing in Lit Hub talks about the Al-Qarawiyyin Library in Morocco, which is the oldest library in the world. Not only was it founded by a woman, it was also restored by a female architect. Find out what inspired Aziza Chaouni to take on this beautiful restoration project here.

Closer home, we’re always looking for ways to sensitise our children to diverse identities and life choices. Drag queens in Delhi are reading stories to children as a way of raising awareness about queerness. The responses have been heartwarmingly positive! This story in the Times of India tells you the story.

Catch this interview with Swaha Sahoo, the head of Parag, an initiative of the Tata Trusts that supports the development of and access to good quality story books for children in Indian languages, in The Indian Express. Get the inside story about the innovative work Parag is doing in rural library development here.

Finally, here’s something to think about. Writers and publishers weigh in on how children’s reading habits and preferences have changed in the era of the internet. Have distractions like Netflix and YouTube killed reading, or just altered what children look for in books? India Today picks some industry minds – have a look at what they have to say here.

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