Critics against public libraries often say that sab kuch Google pe mil jaata hai (everything is available on Google) but not everyone has access to the Internet and even if they do, most often they do not access it for what is useful for them,” said Dr Basheerhamad Shadrach, International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) Chair and Founder of IPLM Trust while delivering the keynote address during the inauguration of the INELI Virtual Connect Convening held at the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) on Wednesday.
The Virtual Connect Convening for cohort 3 saw participation from librarians all over South Asia who shared their experience on how they transformed libraries beyond books by providing community need-based services in the area of agriculture, health, education, culture, heritage, ICTs, gender equality, partnerships, environment and on diverse services. Irhamni Ali, an innovator from previous batch (cohort 1), explained how the project helped in getting a promotion as Chief Data Scientist at the Strate gic Planning Bureau National Library of Indonesia and how he applied the knowledge a c c u m u l at e d from INELI training on developing the library he works in.
Interesting stories came out when librarians from across the state shared how the project shaped their outlook towards their job and the change they were able to make at grassroots level. PK Shobana, the State Librarian from State Central Library, Thiruvananthapuram shared how the project helped her stimulate the developmental activities in the library while Dr MA Deepamala from the Village Library, Coimbatore said it helped her overcome her fear of communicating and motivated her to reach many people.
A Sairam from District Library of Thiruvannamalai, expressed how the capacity building through online initiatives helped him to convert event-based activities into continuous services. Binoy Mathew from Valapatnam Panchayat library shared how INELI helped him to increase the innovative knowledge sharing activities in the community that made the Government administrative allot a new building for the library. Prof MS Swaminathan, the founder of MSSRF, was also present.