8 August 2018
Building Strong Library Association (BSLA) Project, Nepal
The Nepal Library Association conducted capacity building activities to strengthen Library (Librarians) Associations in Nepal in September 2017 as part of IFLA Building Strong Library Association (BSLA) Project.
The objectives were to coordinate and collaborate with libraries (Library Associations) of Nepal, strengthen the library association members and develop their knowledge and skills and provide equitable access to information services in line with BSLA principles.
The activities conducted included a seminar of different library associations to strengthen Library Associations in Nepalvan and the training of trainers for Library Members (TOT). Other activities were the translation of BSLA training package in Nepali and the preparation of webpage for dissemination of information.
The specific objectives for the two-days BSLA Workshop were to continue building libraries, strengthening the existing associations, and build new associations such as medical library association. There were 33 participants from community libraries, public libraries, academic libraries and special/research libraries. Of these, 9 were from out of Kathmandu districts, namely, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Lamjung, Kanchanpur, Makwapur, Banke, Jhapa, Bhairahawa. There were 7 participants from Community/Public Libraries. , 8 from Academic libraries, 4 from School libraries, 7 from research/special libraries, 3 from government libraries and 4 from NLA, There were also representatives from Nepal Library Association (NLA), Lumbini Library Associations (LLA), Nepal Community Library Association (NCLA), Nepal Library Foundation (NLF), and Nepalese School Library Association (NASAL), Tribhuvan University Library Science Students Alumni Association (TULSSAA) and participants from research and special libraries of Nepal.
The three-day BSLA TTT workshop helped to impart knowledge and skill to the library trainers on training, leadership, advocacy, communication, library association/networking, and sustainability. The IFLA resource persons covered the topics on introduction to library associations, types of library associations, contextual factors for library associations, structure and governance of library associations, SWOT analysis of participating Library associations, building and managing stakeholder relationship, establishing strategic partnerships. Under the Module Train the Trainer, the participants worked in group and present their task in the context of adult learning process. The TTT Workshop had participation from 33 library and information workers representing the Nepal Library Association, Lumbini Library Association, Purbanchal Library association, Nepal Community Library Association, Nepal Library Foundation, Nepalese School Library Association and the Tribhuvan University Library Science Students Alumni Association as well as from public, community, government, academic and research/special libraries.
The Nepal Library Association have received positive outcomes from the BSLA Programs. Nepal Library Association (NLA) members especially from outside the Kathmandu valley is contacting regularly and sharing their work experiences. They are also contacting local line agencies (Municipality, government offices like District Education Office, District Health Office) for support and cooperation to launch their library activities in a wider manner.
Members of the Nepal Library Association (NLA) are more enthusiastic after the completion of the project activities, namely, the two-day seminar and three-day BSLA TTT workshop. They have begun discussing the launch of the Library Management training in their respective areas following the Nepali Translation of BSLA Training Package. Moreover, the launching of webpage of NLA become the common platform for sharing their experiences and lessons.
The online training activities following the suggestion given by IFLA BSLA Core trainers Dr. Gillan Hallam from Australia and Dr. Premila Gamage from Sri Lanka are popular among NLA members and have started in Kathmandu. The online training activities would be extended out of Kathmandu in the coming days.
The support program has really benefited to the Nepal Library Association (NLA) which is emerging as an umbrella organization and trying to support district library associations and its members for their professional development. However, the allocated fund is considered inadequate to carry out the activities outlined in the project. NLA considered the project a success and is happy to receive the IFLA support for the BSLA Training.
The group exercises on Problem analysis and SWOT analysis at the September 2017 seminar were well received by the participants. The presentations of brief report of the participating district library associations helped the participants to realize their current situations, the need to bridge the gap and think of further improvement.
The highlight of the three days TTT workshop was the two-minute presentation by the participants. They learnt how to prepare materials for the presentation, use of multimedia, need of body movement and eye contact with the audience and dealing the contents balancing within the time given. SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) analysis of participating library associations, namely, NLA, NCLA, Lumbini Library Association, Nepalese Association of School Libraries, TULSSA was another success story for this TTT. This exercise allowed the participants to know exactly where they stand and how to move ahead in the future.
As part of the follow-up activities mapped out by NLA, there would be continuous online training activities for the members both for Kathmandu and out of Kathmandu areas. BSLA ToT training in local language would be organized in Community Libraries once a year. Meeting would be held among the Library Associations in the country sharing the knowledge time to time, and interaction programme.
The Capacity Building Activities to Strengthen the Library (Librarians) Associations of Nepal was successfully completed. The support of the IFLA/BSLA fund as well as the Core trainers's contribution was highly appreciated.
Participants were dedicated and keen to learn/share and work in group settings as well as they are expecting to conduct the training at their respective areas (district level). Due to political condition (election time for the federal system), a few participants of the September Seminar could not participate in the December workshop.
Overall, the Nepal Library Association is happy that the support program has been beneficial to Nepal especially for the library and information workers. The NLA look forward to more cooperation from the IFLA/BSLA program.