Bookaroo, the Children’s Literature Festival organised by Swati Roy, Venkatesh Swamy and Jo Williams is in the tenth year of its existence. From the first edition the festival has blossomed into a travelling festival including going overseas to Malaysia as Pustaka Bookaroo.
In addition to the main weekend festivals, there is an outreach programme, Bookaroo in the City, which takes writers, illustrators, storytellers and poets to mainstream schools and special purpose institutions for children. In short, anything, anywhere, anytime to spread the joy of reading.
Earlier this year they won the International Excellence Awards at the London Book Fair 2017, the first children’s literature festival ever to get the honour. Now the festival organisers have launched the Bookaroo app that is available on Google Play. The immediate purpose is to make their programming available easily for everyone instead of sharing large spreadsheets.
Here is a short interview with the organisers about the app.
- Why did you decide to launch an app? The basic purpose of the app is to make the programme (session details) easily accessible without having to download heavy pdf files. Moreover, it is part of our efforts to reduce use of paper. In the future, we would like to be paperless.
- How often will you update it? – Just before every edition
- What is the kind of information you will capture from the data collected via the app? Why is it necessary for the app to seek permission to access the user’s phone camera and other databases? Why not restrict access to GPR alone? Most apps come with these permission requirements. We will look at data for internal analysis.
- Will the data analysis help in tweaking the Bookaroo programmes in future? – We have been constantly evolving the programme taking into account all the feedback that we receive. The app will simply be another avenue.
- Will it be available in different languages? –Yes it will, in the future.
- Would you ever slowly expand it to include interviews, maybe book excerpts to an online bookstore? The app is in beta mode just now. We will be looking into all the options, possibilities as we develop it.
- Will it remain a free app? – Yes – we hope so.
- Will it be available on the iOS platform as well? – Yes, in October
- Who is the target audience? Adults or children? We are targeting all those who are interested in children’s literature.
30 August 2017