Wooks.lk recently launched Sri Lanka’s first Online Book Library for Children at Temple Trees recently under the patronage of Namal Rajapaksa, Cabinet Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, State Minister of Digital Technology and Entrepreneur Development.
Wooks.lk was born out of the desire and need to offer interactive children’s books in a safe space online. “Our platform offers interactive books in both Sinhala as well as English, read aloud by Elocution teachers of both languages. It also comprises traditional Sri Lankan folklore titles, as well as English storybooks, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka,” explained Founder Boopathy Kahathuduwa. “We also have our own set of educated and professional storytellers who have created fresh tales for our website,” he added.
A lawyer by profession, and currently a CIMA lecturer, Kahathuduwa noted a dire necessity in creating a platform for digitally available books for children across the island. Currently, each book uploaded to the website has been verified by qualified kindergarten teachers, language masters, categorised by age groups and available in both Sinhala and English languages. “We are in the process of expanding our library to include Tamil books as well,” he said.
The digital library covers storybooks that are available for free, along with a larger extensive selection that can be purchased. The free version also allows for sample stories and children’s colouring books that can be viewed online.
Wooks offers three monthly subscription packs that allow its viewers to have unlimited views of the entire library on any functional electronic device, with new titles added to its monthly. Wooks.lk recommends using a laptop or a device with a large screen for an enhanced experience. “We intend to enable every child to read, so if there is a child out there who wants to read but cannot afford to purchase books, our platform will provide free access. Teachers can reach out to us and we will give our entire library free of charge to the student, rural schools, nursery or children’s home.”
“We hope to keep adding books to our library and also include educational books in the future. We’ve come to realise there’s a deeper impact in terms of teaching our children good habits and mannerisms in a fun and interactive way, apart from sharing knowledge online. We aim to therefore utilise this platform in such a way that it beneficially impacts its users,” said Kahathuduwa.
The great minds behind Wooks came together during the first lockdown of the pandemic, sharing their expertise, ideas and passion. Recruitment was conducted purely online in adherence to safety and health standards, and the team has continued to stay connected with weekly online meetings, thus being an entirely virtual collaboration and company as a whole.