Librarian, Blogger, Dreamer…
Mr. Faisal S. L., a native of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala secured First Rank in MLISc from the University of Kerala and joined Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) in 2003 as Librarian at Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) Baramulla, Jammu & Kashmir. Presently he is working at KV (Shift-I), Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism and M.Phil (LIS), and qualified UGC-NET. Currently he is pursuing research on ‘School libraries and Academic achievement’ for PhD in LIS.
Integration of ICT in the School Library, innovations to support teaching and learning and initiatives to develop social responsibility and sharing are Mr. Faisal’s core areas of contribution in education.
Mr. Faisal pioneered a number of initiatives that redesigned the concept of and practices in school libraries in India. He automated KV Pattom library in 2008 which spearheaded an automation wave in all KV libraries around the country. He experimented with a number of web based tools and customized them for the library to deliver learning resources and provide innovative services. The school library blog created by him (2007) has so far crossed 7.8 million hits and been considered as a standard in academic blogging. Two other first-of-a-kind platforms created by him are an online portal that provide 24×7 access to class home works and assignments (2008) and a school e-magazine (2009). He developed an online academic social network, ‘Library Junction’ (2010) to support collaborative learning and knowledge sharing in a moderated and safe environment. He created the first-ever and most followed KV Facebook & Twitter pages and You-Tube channel in 2011. An ‘E-Reading Hub’ with 10 e-readers was established in the library (2014) to promote e-reading. He has been supporting remote teaching and learning during Covid-19 pandemic (2020) by developing a virtual library, an audio library, Library on mobile phone, interactive e-books, and a karaoke. All these widely followed initiatives are being considered as replicable models for innovative ICT integration in teaching and learning. He has trained more than 2000 librarians and teachers on ICT tools like WordPress, Wakelet, Flipgrid, Book creator, Social Networks, Quizzes, etc.
Mr Faisal won National ICT Award for Teachers in 2017. The ICT interventions carried out by him made the school to win the KVS-Intel Integration of Technology in Schools Award (2009) and the library to be nominated for the LibTech Award-2019. The ICT project, ‘Library Junction’ won two National Awards by NCERT & KVS for Innovative Practices and Experiments in 2011.
A unique and innovative summer reading challenge programme ‘Face a Book Challenge’ conceived by Mr Faisal made him a second time winner of KVS Innovation & Experimentation Award in 2016. It focuses on developing information literacy, creativity, research and presentation skills. Other projects were ‘Infobreak’, a General Knowledge enrichment activity (2017) and ‘Read My Buddy’, a peer reading initiative (2016). He developed a model library programme with an annual activity plan and information/digital literacy components. He strengthened classroom libraries and developed a reading culture in the school with a number of reading related activities including Drop Everything And Read (DEAR), Author meets, exhibitions, competitions, newsletters, virtual displays, Readers’ Club, Career cell, etc. His concept about the library as an open space where children come at their will, meet books and people, share views and generate ideas has made the library the heart of the school in the true sense.
KV Pattom received the ‘Reading4Pleasure School Award’, instituted by Food4Thought Foundation in 2020, which recognises the schools at the national level for promoting reading habit or joy of reading based on innovations, membership, etc.
Mr. Faisal launched ‘Gift a Book and Get a Friend’, a social outreach and resource sharing initiative in 2013. This annual book donation drive aims at connecting students of KV Pattom every year with the children of a less privileged government school by forging friendships through the mutual love for books by gifting them with books and learning materials. It also helps the sister school in developing a good collection in the library. So far, it has connected nearly 2500 students from 7 schools and donated more than 4000 books. Little Open Library (LOLib) (2017) is an open, free and voluntary community book exchange initiative with the objective of sharing one’s favourite books with the community. As the in-charge of Charity Club, Mr Faisal had coordinated Kerala Flood relief material collection centres in 2018 & 2019. He is the staff representative in Alumni Association that contributed generously to school infrastructure development and donated mobile devices to economically less privileged students to support online learning during the pandemic.
Mr. Faisal served as a Member & Author in the Curriculum Committees for (i) CBSE academic subject, Library & Information Science, for Classes XI and XII (ii) the first online Certificate Course in School Librarianship (CCSL) and (iii) ‘Planning, Organization and effective use of Classroom Libraries’ (both by RIE (NCERT)). He was a member of the Committee which drafted ‘KVS Guidelines for School Library and Procedure Manual-2014’. He serves as resource person and coordinator for a number of in-service training programmes, workshops & webinars by CBSE, KVS, CIET-NCERT, SCERT, Professional Associations, schools, colleges & Universities. He is a member of academic Committees at National and regional levels. He serves as a reviewer, published journal articles, book chapters, reports and presented papers in international and national conferences. He is the founder General Secretary of School Library Association, a national level professional development and learning platform for school librarians.
Mr Faisal was also honoured with IASL International Excellence Award for School Librarianship-2012, KVS National Incentive Award -2018, IASL School Librarianship Award-2016, Dr. G. Devarajan Best Librarian Award-2017 and KVS Regional Incentive Award-2015. His contributions immensely supported KV Pattom to be ranked as the ‘Best Govt Day School in the country’ in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020.
Hon’ble President of India Shri. Ram Nath Kovind conferred the National Teacher’s Award 2021 on Mr S. L. Faisal on September 5, 2021.