Bridging communities - 70 public librarians gear up to be global role models

Over 80 public librarians from across 19 States in India and from 8 South Asian countries are focused on taking steps to build a network with a vision on enhancing public librarians leadership skills and evolve an understanding of public libraries as life long knowledge hubs, build global standards, and nourish the public library field in South Asia, at a technical group meeting held in October in Puducherry, South India.

The Library Knoweldge Innovators of three cohort, part of the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI South Asia) is part of the Global Libraries Initiative (GL) of the Gates Foundation, being spearheaded by MSSRF in South Asia.

The workshop held in October, 2019 discussed ways to strengthen the network. The group agreed upon an action plan to focus on capacitating public librarians' leadership skills, research and advocacy while developing tools and standards for libraries through the INELI network.  They were keen to build a network of INELians as transformational leaders and formalize the global libraries INELI model for South Asia.

In today’s digital age there is constant search for benefits of staying connected using technology, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, income, or geographical barriers.  Agenda 2030 envisions a world “where no one is left behind”. The GL Initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, focuses on community development among public librarians nurturing them to be skilled, innovative and visionary leaders equipped to position libraries as New Age Knowledge Learning Centres. INELI India and South Asia, through the MSSRF-led program, has 80 graduating INELians in February 2020 and formulation of the regional INELI Network by next year.