Library Advocacy in India in the Light of Education for Sustainable Development – Perspectives of an Emerging Economy
AuthorDas, Anup Kumar
AffiliationCentre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
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DescriptionPresented at the World Library and Information Congress: 76th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, Gothenburg, Sweden, August 2010.
AbstractIndia is considered as a world leader amongst the developing countries in terms of economic sustainability and growth. India also has a growing number of literate population due to rapid expansion of secondary and post-secondary education landscape. However, when it comes to education for sustainable development (ESD), India stands more elitist to serve only privileged sections of population. Indian public library system still remains inadequate to fulfil the huge demands from neo functional literates or lifelong learners who mostly belong to under-privileged sections. ESD is incomplete without having adequate equity-based access to public library system which is an essential component of the ESD concept. Here comes the emergence of strong library advocates in the country. In post-independent India, Indian library associations were engaged in public library legislation in few states of India. The public library legislations in different states were resulted from public library movement in the country. When new generation of library professionals took charge of library associations in the country, a dilution of public library movement and library advocacy across the country is observed. Where leadership of library associations was no more seriously engaged in library advocacy in the country, there was also rare existence of Indian civil societies engaged in library advocacy as well as policy advocacy in the relevant fields. Fortunately, Indian National Knowledge Commission (NKC) was established in 2005 by the Central government which eventually formed a Working Group on Libraries. This Working Group on Libraries along with other related working groups of NKC re-established dialogs with national and state actors and other stakeholders through public consultations. Some civil society organizations also have started focusing on library advocacy, as a part of their engagement in ESD. This paper discusses trajectories of various actors and stakeholders in India who are catching up 'library advocacy' to bridge the knowledge gaps in the country. This paper also analyses impact of Indian government's policy frameworks towards building inclusive knowledge societies and their implications in future library advocacy in India.
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