2 December 2011

Nepal: BSLA programme commences with first workshop

 BSLA workshop, Nargakot, Nepal

The IFLA Building Strong Library Associations programme has commenced in Nepal, with the first of three scheduled workshops being held between the 7th and 9th of November 2011.

In Nepal the BLSA programme is being undertaken with the Nepal Community Library Association (NCLA) a relatively small and recently established library association which has been formed to support the development and sustainability of rural community libraries. The NCLA also works very closely with READ (Rural Education and Development) Nepal, which has been responsible for setting up 50 libraries in villages and hamlets in Nepal, and which was also the recipient of the 2006 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Access To Learning Award.

IFLA Regional Section for Asia and Oceania members Michael Robinson (Hong Kong) and Chihfeng P. Lin (Taiwan) are working as co-trainers with the NCLA, and the first workshop drew on material from the “Building Your Library Association” and “Sustaining Your Library Association” modules, customized for the needs and circumstances of the NCLA. In the first workshop the content was focussed in particular on strategic planning, governance, structure and culture of organizations, and communications within the Association. In the second workshop, the emphasis will shift to partnerships, external communications and fundraising, and in the third to a focus on advocacy for community libraries.

This first workshop was opened by Ms Tina Sciabica, Executive Director of READ Global, and consisted of members of the NCLA Executive Committee, librarians from the community libraries, a representative of the Nepal Community Library Association, and the former President of REFSALA (Regional Federation of South Asian Library Associations), together with several colleagues from READ Nepal. The workshop was held in the village of Nagarkot, set high on a ridge about 35 kilometres from the capital city of Kathmandu. Nagarkot is known for its commanding views of the Himalaya, and after an overcast first day, participants were treated to a breathtaking view of the mountains as a backdrop to the workshop sessions on the second and third days.

The main outcome of the workshop – which included many very active discussions that continued into the evenings - was the formulation of a prioritized action plan of tasks to be undertaken prior to the second workshop in March 2012. This included a commitment to revise the strategic plan of the Association, implement changes to the organisational structure to improve management and decision making, and to develop a communications strategy which could serve as a basis for practical initiatives at a later stage.

More information about the Building Strong Library Associations programme is available on the IFLA website. A full set of photos from the workshop in Nepal and the country visit in June 2011 are available on Flickr.

LDP (Library Development Programme), Associations, Nepal, Building Strong Library Associations

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