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K Sri Dhammananda Libraries


The need of a library was made known by a group of caring residents serving their local community under the banner of "Atha Hitha" in the village of  Kotawila. They made their appeal for books in English to Ven K Siridhamma when he visited Kotawila as they deemed that he had best access to such books considering that he is based in Malaysia.


Ven K Siridhamma immediately sourced for several hundred children books and sent them to this group of caring residents. When the opportunity arose for him to visit the library on one of his rare trips to Sri Lanka, he found out that the library was not yet a reality.


A meeting with the resident group found that they were not able to source for a suitable premise to house the library. After some discussion, it was clear that the library would be a still-born project if the correct ingredients were not injected.


What started off as an ad-hoc sponsoring of English books for children has now turned into a long term project of the K Sri Dhammananda Foundation.



Concept and Objectives

The primary objective of the library is clear – to provide avenues for the local children to have access to books which can foster the learning of the English Language.


The residents of Kotawila realized that the opportunities available to the children in that area to become well versed with the English Language was lacking and wanted to do something about it. There were plans to expose the children to the Language through additional classes after school and of course through reading.


Having a library available to children will not only expose them to the Language but also inculcate a habit of reading.




The resident group identified the need for English Language books and found the correct source but did not realize that the requirement for suitable space was not so easily resolved.



Role of the K Sri Dhammananda Foundation

The K Sri Dhammananda Foundation realized that the objectives of setting up a library were good and that this project could be replicated in other villages as libraries would be a great benefit to the local community if well managed.


The Foundation decided to make the K Sri Dhammananda Library in Kotawila a pilot project and started to work out a strategy to make the library go beyond the initial concept of just a place for English Language books.


The Foundation has now undertaken to make the library a place for learning, complementing the effort of schools, but using a different approach. One which hopes to create interest in life and the environment we live in. One which nurtures curiosity and provides avenues for answers.


The concept is to make learning fun and through a diversity of teachers. Teachers from all over the world. And the greatest teacher of all …… nature itself.


The Foundation plans to make the K Sri Dhammananda Library a “Living Library” whereby the children of Kotawila will, through activities and resources ranging from  books to the experiences of the “teachers” be aware of the wonders of life.


The Foundation has immediate plans as well as some mid-term plans for the purpose of making the library a place of learning.


The immediate needs are identified as:-

            Suitable premise

            Renovation to the premise

            Setting up of a Library system

            Educational aids



Suitable Premise

The Foundation has got the blessings of the Chief Monk of the Kotawila Temple to use a building within the grounds of the temple as the premise to house the library. This building has ample space and is suitable for a library but some work needs to be done to rid the roof of termites and some basic repair to windows, and of course a new coat of paint to freshen it.


Renovation to the Premise

The local group of residents have taken up the challenge to do all that is necessary to make this their library – getting rid of the termites, replacing affected roof timbers, replacing broken roof tiles, repairing windows, re-commissioning toilets etc…..  including furnishing it with tables, chairs, shelves and whatever else that may be useful in operating a library.


Extras in the form of decorations such as posters, potted plants, maybe even models of rare items are being sourced to make the library impart knowledge beyond that available from books.


Setting Up a Library System

As the library will be run by volunteers, the Foundation will help set up a roster to manage the volunteers. It will include processes whereby a volunteer can swap his duty with another without disruption to the operations of the library and with the least of inconvenience to the volunteers.


The Foundation will assist with the initial supply of library book pockets and borrower’s record cards, and provide the appointed librarians with a reader registration format, a book classification system and guidelines towards the use of the library.


If there is a need, the Foundation will provide training to the librarians on operating a library.



The Foundation will continue to supply books to the library through their “Donate a Book” project

carried out in Malaysia. It has received pledges of a further 300 books on top of those that have already been sent to Kotawila.


Educational Aids

Along with books, some educational aids have been pledged and these will add variety to the resources available in the library.



The Foundation will, after the establishment of the library, embark on sustainable programmes. For the mid-term, the Foundation will look into programmes for activities to be carried out by the library. The programmes being considered are:-


The Spice Garden Project

Project Botany

Insects and their habitat

Show and Tell Sessions

Arts & Crafts Sessions

Where in the world….?

and many more……



The Spice Garden Project

Many children are not familiar with what a ginger plant looks like, or what an onion plant looks like…..


There is a small plot of land in front of the building which has been earmarked for a Spice Garden. The children will be encouraged to form teams and to select a spice to plant and nurture. Teams will be made to compete with each other on criteria which will be made known to the teams prior to planting.


Teams are expected to share their experiences with the others at the end of the planting season and the winning team will be rewarded for their efforts.


Project Botany

There are many plants and trees within the temple grounds and this project entails teams to learn about them, label them and then share their knowledge with the others.


Again, excellence is encouraged through competition and rewards to the best performing team.


Insects and their habitat

The temple grounds are habitat to many insects and what better way to learn about insects other than to observe how and why they dwell in a particular place.


The same approach of creating teams and researching about the insects and then sharing the knowledge applies.


Show and Tell Sessions

All the projects mentioned above require that the teams share their discoveries and these will be done on scheduled Show and Tell Sessions. These sessions encourage research, develop public speaking skills and of course make learning participative, giving opportunities to the children to develop their use of the English Language.


Arts & Crafts Sessions

Learning to work with one’s hands is always an enriching experience and develops the respect for the arts. Anyone with a skill in art or crafts can volunteer to share the skills with the children.


Where in the world….?

Kotawila is near to a tourist resort and it will be a mutually rewarding experience for a tourist to spend a few minutes to talk about his home city and country. This programme can be worked out with the participation of hotels in the vicinity.



Ven. T. Indrasiri Sumano Thero, the Chief Monk of Kasagala Raja Maha Vihara in Ranna heard of the programmes that the K Sri Dhammananda Foundation were planning and immediately made an appeal to Advisor Ven. K Siridhamma Thero to start a library in Ranna. Ven. Indrasiri made it a point to attend a meeting of the Friends of the Foundation in one of his visits to Malaysia to support his appeal.
The Friends felt that it was time to embark on another library project and started another "Donate a Book" campaign. Within a few weeks, 900 books were collected, wrapped and sent to Ranna!
In the meantime, Ven Indrasiri was busy getting the premise ready and rounding up some secondary children in Ranna, convincing them to take up the challenge to manage a library. The students got together and formed a Library Management Committee and soon after, the books arrived.
They were in awe at the variety of books now available but is soon dawned on them that the books were mainly novels. During the visit by the a few Friends, they made known their need for Science reference books and asked that the next batch consisted of some to help them with their studies.