Usha Mukunda has worked as a school and children’s librarian for nearly 40 years now. She is a founder-member of Centre for Learning in Bangalore where she set up a unique library which has served as a model for many other libraries. 

 She was a member of the special committee for libraries and knowledge networking under the aegis of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission in 2008-2009. One of the major breakthroughs was the “Arivu” project where 225 high schools in the State received assistance by way of books, cupboards and a user-friendly manual to run an active and open library. The manual was authored by Mrs. Mukunda. The project was extended to another 500 schools.

In 2009, she was awarded a Karnataka State award for her service to school libraries. 

She has been a consultant with The Tata Trusts under their children’s literature and library promotion wing called the Parag Initiative. In this context she has helped train and enthuse librarians in the Kalike Project at Yadgir and Gurmitkal, Karnataka, and in many other places throughout India. Over the last 9 years,  a 7-months online course for library educators has been conducted by the Parag Initiative initially  in Hindi, and now in English under the aegis of Bookworm Goa. More than 100 librarians have completed this course and are now working with dedication at various centres. Mrs. Mukunda was a member of the team which designed this course and also acted as faculty.

She has served on numerous juries to select the best illustrator and best author.

Usha Mukunda has also worked as a consultant for the DoE, Tibetan Government-in-exile, with Tibetan school librarians around the country to strengthen their engagement with good library and reading practices.

She has also contributed chapters for two manuals initiated by NCERT to strengthen school librarians of the Southern Regions. Recently she was part of the faculty to design and conduct a six-month online course for school librarians, initiated by RIE Mysore, under the umbrella of NCERT.

In the coming years as in times past, Usha hopes to continue her deep interest in interacting  with children and young adults in conversations and dialogues around diverse books. She feels that there is much to learn from such interactions and is grateful for such openings.

Jury | 2024