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Conference to Transform Public Libraries

India Public Libraries Conference (IPLC) envisions vibrant, inclusive libraries to reach the unreached

The Third edition of the India Public Libraries Conference organised by the Indian Public Library Movement (IPLM) and hosted by NASSCOM Foundation will run from 3-5 October at India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (Independent Charge), Government of India, will inaugurate the conference.Conference would witness participation of about 400 plus public library stakeholders.  Including library practitioners, , library professionals, policy makers, planners, corporate, civil society as well as distinguished speakers from India and abroad along with students of Library and Information Sciences.

Indian Public Library Movement is a multi-stakeholder initiative supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Library Initiative, working towards the transformation of public libraries into vibrant and inclusive knowledge institutions. Its annual event, Indian Public Library Conference is a platform to engage public library stakeholders across sectors in India and abroad to discuss challenges, opportunities and innovations in the public library domain.

Mr Shrikant Sinha, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation said, “Indian Public Library Movement is an initiative close to our hearts. The idea is to create thought-provoking discussion on the situation of the Public Libraries in India and positively impact these spaces through the knowledge of ground realities and innovation. Public Library is a repository and source of and has the potential to ensure that every Indian without discrimination has easy access to the knowledge they seek.”

Elaborating on the theme of this year’s conference Dr Shubhangi Sharma, Executive Director, Indian Public Library Movement said, “The focus of this years’ conference is on reaching the unreached bridging the gap between rural and urban; virtual and real; have’s and have-not’s as far as  the knowledge is concerned. Last two conferences focused on envisioning the future for Public Libraries and inspiring and repositioning Public Libraries through technology, new content, services and programs. Keeping in view the recommendations of the 1st and 2nd conferences, the 3rd IPLC is looking more specifically into ways to work upon these towards creating a knowledge society.”

Among detailed discussions at the conference will be a panel on Public Library: Potential and Possibilities,understanding the work done globally to develop a unified library system and the potential that public libraries as an institution present in transforming lives of the communities. Another session titled Current Status of Public Library Financing India, will present a case for the enhancement of funding for public libraries so that they become new age knowledge institutions.  The session titled Public Libraries as Agents for delivering Government Services will discuss the potential of public libraries in ensuring reach of government services and programs to the marginalized, thereby helping the country to realize the vision of inclusion and equity. In an exclusive session, Policy Makers speak about theinitiatives needed at the policy level to transform these institutions.

 

The conference will also witness workshops and capacity building for library practitioners on a variety of issues pertinent to the revitalization of public library space.

 

The movement grew out of the neglect of the Indian public library system in the recent decades of rapid change in technology. Public Libraries have the vast potential to make a substantive difference in the empowerment of India’s masses and in the development of a better educated and informed citizenry.

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