2nd Convening of the INELI-ASEAN
by: Blesila P. Velasco
The International Network of Emerging Library Innovators – Association of Southeast Asia Nations (INELI-ASEAN), is an innovative leadership development program that envisions to create a regional and vibrant network of emerging public library leaders that enhances their leadership skills, builds their leadership capacities, and fosters collaboration and strong partnerships among each other. The program runs for a 3-year period, starting in 2015 and commencing in 2018. It is implemented by the National Library of the Philippines (NLP) and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Global Libraries Initiative. The participants of this program are sponsors (directors of national libraries and presidents of national library associations), mentors, innovators and learning facilitators.
The said participants are brought together in three (3) convenings in various countries in Southeast Asia. The First Convening was held at the Pullman Hotel City Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last October 21-24, 2015 to introduce the participants to each other and to primarily form the foundation for the evolving network of public librarians in the region. All innovators introduced themselves and presented a little about their countries and their library services. Other activities included were meeting the sponsors and mentors; sessions on Online Learning Modules, Self-Development Plans, and Collaborative Projects; site visits; and, library tours.
Almost a year after, the 2nd Convening of the INELI-ASEAN was held at the National Library Board (NLB) of Singapore last September 6-9, 2016. The objectives of the convening were: 1) to present, refine, streamline and provide direction of the collaborative project proposals; 2) to introduce and discuss the ASEAN Public Libraries Information Network (APLiN); 3) to facilitate online learning modules; and, 4) to facilitate library tours/visitation to innovative libraries in the co-host country. It was participated in by sixty four (64) participants which consist of ten (10) sponsors from the ASEAN Member States; five (5) mentors from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brazil, and South Africa; thirty-six (36) innovators; two (2) Learning Facilitators, one (1) co-facilitator; two (2) resource speakers from India and Malaysia; and, seven (7) members of the INELI-ASEAN Project Team.
The said event was a colossal success because of the tremendous support of the NLB as the co-host for the convening; cooperation and active participation of the participants as they network and collaborate with each other while learning a lot along the way; and, the generous assistance of the institutional partners namely, Springer, iGroup and Thomas Reuters. On top of these, other factors that made the 2nd Convening a success were the teamwork of the Project Team as early preparations started, while inculcating and applying the learnings from the previous convening; the well-thought of program design and content; the excellence of the invited resource speakers and the inspiring stories of the mentors; the wonderful and innovative libraries visited; the proximity of the hotel to the venue of the convening; and, the NLB’s conduciveness as a avenue for the event.
The Third and last Convening of the INELI-ASEAN will be held on November 2017 in Hanoi, Viet Nam in commemoration of the 100th Founding Anniversary of National Library of Viet Nam.