Asia West Pacific

Experimenting with Peace Library 

By Ratih Puspito Rini

Ivo, Kins, Petrus, Nadine (Friends Peace Teams Asia West Pacific) and Damai Library Volunteers

It has been my 2nd year of Internship in Peace Place Pati. This opportunity has given me rich experience of experiments, with myself and my community in our library.

My skills development and understanding of Creating Cultures of Peace greatly affected the Damai  Library (Peace Library). I feel the Damai Library is growing from the first time we implemented the Creating Cultures of Peace approach and principles in our library in 2019 until now in 2021. We are not only growing as a library, but also as a community. The children got used to knowing the routine and the Creating Cultures of Peace principles, and they use the vocabulary and concepts in their conversations. They learn to speak and listen, respect each other, take responsibility, and build their leadership skills. This has changed our community.

Another change comes from the support of the Friends Peace Teams network. The Sparklers support me in learning how to enlarge the Library Program by collecting books and reading aloud. They are collecting books in English with the  Creating Cultures of Peace themes and sorting them by reading development level (Fountas and Pinnell and Lexile). This can be a model for book collections in Indonesian and other languages also. The Sparklers offer training for teachers, librarians, and parents to read aloud. This was very new for me, and I had to learn a lot to be able to understand and follow the work, even though I have worked as a preschool teacher in Indonesia. I feel blessed because it pushed me to increase my effort and focus for the Peace Library. It takes time for me to learn and practice the skills of reading aloud, reviewing books, and collecting children’s books.

Read aloud training gave me new insights about books and how they are used. A very simple book can be very beautiful when we use it in a beautiful way. I practiced reading aloud with children in the Damai Library and set Read Alouds as a routine activity. Practicing for reading aloud is my first step to building a strong and useful Peace Library program. I am very thankful for the experience and curious about the next experiments of the Peace Library.