The Importance of the School Library Development Program

Reading culture has been a problem for many years in Indonesia. Indonesian children are not familiar with the activity of reading/reading story books on a regular basis. The policy of storybooks in schools narrows children’s opportunities to access the right books according to their level of difficulty. In addition, teachers also do not have adequate skills in helping with book reading activities.

YLAI (in collaboration with Room to Read NPO) responded to this situation with an initiative to develop elementary school libraries. Through this program, schools do not develop their library infrastructure and complement it by sharing different types of books. However, assistance to teachers in carrying out library reading activities on a regular basis is no less important. Libraries need to be developed to become children’s favourite places to enjoy books and develop reading habits.

School Library Management Training

An attractive and comfortable library will have an impact on the development of reading habits. The role of each party in the school in preparing the library and recognizing their responsibilities can help in effective management. Management that involves all parties will also increase their awareness of library ownership. To achieve this goal, the training programs provided in schools are focused on preparing important features in developing and managing child-friendly school libraries.

Preparing the Space and Organizing the Furniture

Libraries must meet safety requirements for children. If these conditions are met, the library will be more comfortable to visit. Furniture arrangement is also easier if the room as a whole reflects a room that is ready to be used for a relatively long time. The arrangement of the room is intended to make it comfortable for children who visit the library.

Administration and Routine Activities in the Library

Administration is prepared to support activities to be carried out in the library.  There are scheduled and unscheduled activities involving teacher and student activities. These activities need to be managed by the school. The school can see what teachers do (for example in reading activities) and what children do (for example in borrowing books), as well as what the librarian needs to pay attention to (for example taking an inventory of books and recording borrowing books). An active library can be seen from the recording of these activities in the administration book. Moreover, administration and suggested activities should take into account child-friendly elements so as to avoid fines.   

Creating a Reading Rich Environment

Books are an important part of creating a reading-rich environment. The display of interesting books in accordance with the stage is a special attraction for children. In addition to making it easier for children to find books, book ranking is a guide for children to find books according to their reading abilities. A reading-rich environment can be further supported by displaying children’s work, posters, and chart of children’s library regulations.

Involving Families and Communities in the Library

Family and community involvement in schools will improve children’s education. It is important for children’s interest and motivation to read to have support from family and society. Research shows that when families and communities are properly engaged, children are more motivated and self-confident and so are more likely to cultivate reading habits at school and at home.

School Library Visiting Hours Training

After the library management training, schools need to prepare important activities that must be carried out in the library by teachers. After the library is developed, teachers can implement reading activities. The aim of the activities is to show children that reading is enjoyable and non-threatening. There are 4 reading activities that teachers can do to develop sustainable reading habits.

Reading Aloud and Shared Reading

These two activities are carried out by the teacher. The teacher reads the story book to the children. The modeling of reading activities carried out by the teacher allows children to be motivated and like reading activities. Through this activity, reading is focused so that the teacher can exp, use expression, gestures and intonation, and other dramatic strategies to bring the story to life. This activity is particularly effective during library visiting hours.

Reading Activities in Pairs and Independently

Children need to be given the opportunity to choose books alone or with their partners. This is an alternative for children who are more proficient at reading to have more personal reading time or with their close friends to be able to discuss the books they read. Apart from that, children have the freedom to borrow books to read at home; these two activities are also important in the teacher’s schedule for visiting the library.

Virtual Library through

In addition to implementing the Child Friendly School Library Development Program, YLAI also encourages the use of Virtual Libraries for teachers. This effort is intended to assist teachers in accessing quality children’s storybooks available at

Virtual Read Aloud Activity

During the distance learning due to the pandemy on 2020-2021 YLAI have trained 711 homeroom teachers from public primary schools in Bali to conduct virtual read aloud activity for the students by using digital books from The teachers were trained on how to conduct reading activities for students through online meeting platforms. Teachers who consistently able to conduct this activity reported positive responses from the students and the parents. They were able to maintain the children’s enthusiasm in reading despite being unable to meet them face-to-face.

Shared Reading using Virtual Library

Furthermore, in 2022, YLAI trained another 682 homeroom teachers to use to develop reading habits through various reading activities that can be done in person and in the library. The teachers were trained to conduct SShared Reading activities in the library using virtual books available on According to the data collected by YLAI, there are at least 104 Shared Reading activities that have been carried out by teachers using virtual books on from April to October 2022.

Virtual Library as source of quality children's storybooks

The benefits of using a virtual library like are not only felt by teachers. Parents also feel the same benefits. Now, parents no longer have difficulty in providing quality reading materials for their children at home.

YLAI also encourages teachers and schools to maintain parent’s involvement by providing recommendations of children’s books on the right level for the parents which will help improveed the children’s literacy skills and their love for reading.

Library’s Gallery

School Library - SDN 1 Panjer, Denpasar

Before the Program
Impact of the Program

School Library - SDN 20 Dangin Puri, Denpasar

Before the Program

Impact of the Program

School Library - SDN 16 Pemecutan, Denpasar

Before the Program

Impact of the Program

Program’s Milestones

In cooperation with RtR-IKEA, developed 12 Child-friendly Libraries in Badung, Bali.
In cooperation with RtR-IKEA, developed 12 Child-friendly Libraries in Badung, Bali and 6 libraries in Denpasar, Bali.
In cooperation with RtR-IKEA, developed 5 Child-friendly Libraries in Badung, Bali and 19 libraries in Denpasar, Bali.
In cooperation with RtR-Google Org, developed 10 Child-friendly Libraries in Badung and Denpasar, Bali. Introducing the usage of Literacy Cloud to these schools. Proliferation of Literacy Cloud for 64 partnering schools in Denpasar and Badung.
Proliferation of Literacy Cloud for 64 partnering schools in Denpasar and Badung.
Implementing Virtual Reading Aloud for 66 Schools in Denpasar. Presenting on National Workshop about Reading Habit and Literacy Cloud in cooperation with Kemendikbud RI.
In cooperation with RtR, developed 64 Child-friendly Libraries in Denpasar, Bali.