2 December 2011
IFLA BSLA Program Featured at READ Nepal 20th Anniversary Celebrations
While in Kathmandu to commence the IFLA BSLA workshops with the Nepal Community Library Association, IFLA trainer Michael Robinson had the opportunity to raise awareness about the BSLA programme at a one-day conference to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of READ Nepal.
READ – standing for Rural Education and Development – is an NGO which embarked on a programme of building community libraries in rural areas of Nepal in 1991, and has since raised funds to build 50 community libraries around the country. The very successful READ business model is based on working with local communities to seed-fund and develop small enterprises – such as sawmills, printing presses, shopfront leases and even ambulance services – to generate funds to sustain the ongoing operations of the community library. READ Nepal was recognised for its efforts in bringing badly needed library services and community programmes to remote areas in Nepal, when it was the recipient of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation “Access To Learning Award” in 2006. Since then, the organisation has grown to become READ Global, with programmes for the establishment of community libraries now operating in India and Bhutan as well as Nepal.
Mr Robinson was a speaker at the conference to mark the READ 20th Anniversary celebrations, and delivered a presentation concerning the aims of the Building Strong Library Associations programme, the benefits that effective library associations can bring to individual libraries and communities, and the programme of workshop modules and other activities which have been customised to meet the particular needs and current situation of the Nepal Community Library Association. The President of the Nepal Community Library Association, Mr Basudev Dhungana, also had an opportunity to speak at the conference on the role of community libraries.